The Camden Police Department has two new acting sergeants, and continues to interview for a new police officer.

Meanwhile, one unnamed officer remains on a paid administrative leave of absence.

In July, Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne named officers Patrick Polky and John Tooley as acting sergeants. The force now consists of Chief Gagne, Lt. Mike Geary, acting Sergeants Polky and Tooley, Sergeant Jason Hall, and officers Curt Andrick, Brook Hartshorn, Allen Weaver, Paul Spear and Cody Laite, as well as Jeff Sukeforth, parking enforcement officer.

Gagne declined on Aug. 9 to comment on reasons for placing the employee on paid administrative leave. Gagne said on June 3 he had placed an officer on paid administrative leave on June 1, referencing it as a personnel matter and said then that the officer was on leave for an “undetermined amount of time, aspects of which will remain confidential and will be dealt with in due time.”

In other department news

On May 20, Laite graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro, completing an 18-week course. Laite graduated third in a class of 45 cadets and was elected vice president of the class.

One of his favorite aspects of academy training was learning the mechanics of arrest, restraint and control, he said.

“This was primarily hand to hand combat that involved the use of verbal commands, use of force techniques, a mindset of refusing to give up and a great deal of stamina,” he said. “I enjoyed having the ability to fight with a great variety of students and instructors of all shapes and sizes. This duplicated unmatched realism, in the event that no officer will ever be able to back down as a result of size or strength. I hope to return to the academy throughout my career to help instruct with the Mechanics of Arrest Restraint and Control.”

Other topics he enjoyed studying included field sobriety testing, firearms range, emergency vehicle operation and control, and crash investigations. He said “police officers never quit learning and can never have too much training in any specific area.”

Interview candidates

Meanwhile, Gagne and the town continue to interview candidates to fill an empty full-time officer position. The position was advertised in July, and it requires completion of a 100-hour training course at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. Gagne received six applications and anticipates hiring a candidate within the next month, he said.