Former police chief assisting in Gouldsboro

GOULDSBORO — Former Gouldsboro Police Chief Glenn Grant is temporarily assisting the town in an administrative capacity pending the resolution of a personnel matter involving current Chief John Shively and Officer Adam Brackett.

Both officers remain employed by the town but are off-duty. All emergency calls — night or day — are being handled largely by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. 

In an email Wednesday, Town Manager Andrea Sirois reported that Grant is working “on a very temporary basis in an administrative support role in the PD office.” She added that the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and Maine State Police are fulfilling Gouldsboro’s day-to-day emergency needs while Shively and Brackett are off-duty. She confirmed “both individuals are currently employed.”

Starting in 2009, Grant served as Gouldsboro’s police chief, overseeing one full-time and two part-time officers before retiring in 2015. Grant subsequently served as interim police chief after his successor, Paul Gamble, was fired days before completing his six-month-probation in 2016.

That same year, the Police Department’s full-time officer, Tyler Dunbar, took over as chief. Three years later, Dunbar resigned, citing lack of political support from town government, following a citizen’s petition drive to disband the Police Department. The initiative failed in a 395-169 ballot vote at the 2019 Town Meeting.

In 2019, Shively, Gouldsboro’s then full-time police officer, succeeded Dunbar as chief. At the time, Officer Eli Brown was working part time for the department. In early 2020, Brackett was hired as a full-time officer. Last October, Brackett was fired by the town, but weeks later reinstated by selectmen in a move to give the officer a second chance to improve his job performance, according to the board’s Oct. 30 letter to the officer. 

In September, both Brown and Brackett issued a “vote of no confidence” in Shively and Sirois. At the time, the officers expressed their unwillingness to work under the police chief. On Feb. 19, 2021, Brown resigned. In an eight-page resignation letter, which was heavily redacted, Brown accused Sirois of inconsistent treatment and disciplining of town employees among other things. 

Both Sirois and Board of Selectmen Chairman Dana Rice have declined to comment or elaborate on the officers’ grievances and “no confidence vote” expressed last fall or the pending personnel matter. 

Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane Tuesday confirmed that his department is shouldering Gouldsboro’s emergency calls and complaints at Sirois’s request, but the town has not contracted for additional services like the Hancock County towns of Tremont, Swan’s Island and Stonington.

Customarily, Kane said his department provides back-up and coverage when Gouldsboro or Winter Harbor police are off-duty. Kane said a deputy living in eastern Hancock County usually responds to those calls. His officers work shifts running either 4 4 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. If a call comes in, and the deputy is off-duty, the sheriff said the response could mean overtime hours for that officer. 

As the town’s 2021-22 budget is being drafted, Gouldsboro selectmen are deciding whether to budget for a police chief as well as one full-time police officer or a police chief assisted by two part-time reserve officers. The budgetary issue is expected to be discussed as part of their regular meeting on Thursday, April 1, at 6 p.m. at the Prospect Harbor Woman’s Club building. The meeting also will be live-streamed via Zoom and that link will be posted on the town’s Facebook page and website. 

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]

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