Camden welcomes Officer Laura LaManna
Camden — The Camden Police Department has a few new faces on the roster, including Officer Laura LaManna who first donned her Camden PD uniform in April 2012. LaManna, 30, hails from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. She moved to Maine in February and began working as a reserve officer — with full-time hours — on Thomaston Police Department before being recruited to Camden.
LaManna is quick with a smile and said she has enjoyed Maine — and working for Camden PD — so far. She explained law enforcement jobs in Minnesota are very competitive.
"In the Twin Cities area you're up against 400 people for a police department job," she said.
LaManna's work history includes police work in Iowa and a decade of experience in law-enforcement related jobs including security, loss prevention and corrections. She has an associate's degree in law enforcement and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. LaManna said she'll be attending an 18-week course at Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro beginning in January 2013 to receive Maine certification.
LaManna lives in Knox County and volunteers as a first responder on a local ambulance crew. She is passionate about animals, particularly her beloved blue-eyed husky mix who served as co-pilot on the long pilgrimage from Minnesota to Maine in LaManna's small car. She also has signed up to volunteer at the Humane Society of Knox County in Thomaston.
"When I go out on foot patrol I always carry dog treats with me," LaManna said.
She recalls a police officer in her neighborhood when she was young who used to pass out football cards to kids when he was patrolling.
"It's a chance to do something positive and let people know 'hey, we're human, too,'" she explained, "it's a chance to build a positive relationship with the community."
LaManna said she knew law enforcement was her calling after participating in a police ride-along at age 18.
"I absolutely fell in love — it's exciting, every day is different," she said.
In addition to volunteering at the humane society, LaManna said she plans to join a local women's hockey league shortly. When she's not working she said she loves the outdoors — hiking, kayaking, biking and working out are among her routine activities.
"I'm still traveling the area and seeing what's out there," she said.
Being so far from Minnesota has been an adjustment, LaManna said. She is close with her family and said her mother has come to visit Maine twice already and "loves it here."
LaManna is enthusiastic about continuing to build relationships with the community.
"Don't be afraid to come up and say hi," she said. "Obviously we are here to help."
Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.