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Law enforcement agencies recognized for response to Walmart threat

By Beth A. Birmingham | Sep 18, 2019
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Recognized by the Thomaston Board of Selectmen Sept. 9 for their dedicated service are, from left, Chief Tim Hoppe, Detective Sgt. Joel Neal Jr., Reserve Officer Elizabeth Hart, Detective Alex Gaylor, Reserve Officers Jacob Grinnell and Thomas Eager and FBI Detective Ray Goergen.

Thomaston — The Thomaston Board of Selectmen recognized Sept. 9 the organizations involved in the Walmart shooting threat that occurred Aug. 21.

"I feel so good about this," Chairman Peter Lammert said, adding, "We're celebrating something that didn't happen." Lammert explained that through a very circuitous chain of events, somebody read something they felt was wrong and passed the information along to someone who could do something about it.

To recognize all the departments, Lammert said on behalf of the town of Thomaston and the Thomaston Select Board, he wanted to express appreciation to the police departments of Thomaston, Rockland, Rockport and Camden, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Maine Warden Service for their dedication and service during the shooting threat at Walmart.

He also thanked the Knox County Communications Center "that kept everything glued together."

He further read from the Thomaston Police Department's press release on the incident, "The Thomaston Police Department responded quickly to the Walmart in Thomaston until the location of the subject could be determined. Chief [Tim] Hoppe notified all law enforcement in the State of Maine of the potential threat as well as other Walmart stores in the area."

The entities agreed to close the store as a precautionary measure.

"We wish to give our deepest gratitude for the hard work every one of you have displayed in safeguarding this community," Lammert said. "You have demonstrated the highest professionalism while handling this incident, and for that we are all thankful.

"You allow all of the citizens to go about their everyday lives with the reassurance of feeling safe. Thank you for your service and support," he said.

After a round of applause, Lammert. presented certificates to Detective Sgt. Joel Neal Jr. and Detective Alex Gaylord of the Rockland Police Department; Detective Ray Goergen of the FBI; and Hoppe, Reserve Officers Elizabeth Hart, Thomas Eager and Jacob Grinnell of the Thomaston Police Department.

"It gives me a good, warm fuzzy feeling when something goes right that could have gone very wrong," Lammert said.

Investigation of the incident is still ongoing, with additional interviews and some federal involvement, Hoppe noted.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Sep 18, 2019 16:35

Good job for all involved!

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