Rockport police officer 'comfortable' in new role
Rockport — Having grown up in the Midcoast, Jake Grinnell is glad to be working in a familiar town as part of Rockport Police Department
“I love working in Rockport,” Grinnell said. “I grew up here and know the people and the places and that makes it a bit more comfortable for me, I think.”
The 24-year-old Lincolnville native was home-schooled and participated in athletics at Camden Hills Regional High School, including basketball and baseball. Grinnell graduated from University of Maine at Augusta with an associates degree in criminal justice. He gained experience in law enforcement working for both Damariscotta and Thomaston police departments.
Grinnell said sometimes it is difficult to work in his hometown because it is inevitable he will interact with someone he knows and — usually — it is not their finest hour.
“It is hard sometimes, I have already had that happen a couple of times and they just need to realize I’m just doing my job, “ he said. “You just have to keep all of that separate because it is nothing personal.”
Having been on the job a couple of months, Grinnell is still learning the ropes and using what the veterans of the force teach him to become more proficient.
“The attitude of Sgt. [Travis] Ford makes the training enjoyable, he is very positive and it makes it easy to learn from him. Overall, this has been a great learning experience so far,” he said.
To help acclimate himself, Grinnell said he is staying busy on patrol and getting out to introduce himself to people in the community.
“You really have to get to know the kind of people you will be dealing with on a regular basis,” he said. “There are some characters around here, for sure, and some of the crazy stuff that they do – well, you just can’t make that kind of stuff up.”
In June, the Rockport Select Board gave approval to Chief Mark Kelly to advertise for another full-time officer. In July, Grinnell was selected from a number of qualified candidates and he joins Officer Cooper Plaisted as the newest additions to the department. Plaisted was hired to replace Officer Wesley Butler. Butler left Rockport to take a job with Camden Police Department.
Both Grinnell and Plaisted are slated to attend the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vasselboro beginning in January.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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