WATERVILLE — The Police Department has hired four police officers, increasing the total number of full-time sworn officers to 30, according to Chief Joseph Massey.
The department now is up to authorized staffing levels, Massey said Tuesday.
The new officers are Daniel Brown, 22, of Winslow; Damon Lefferts, 32, of China; Linda Smedberg, 38, of Augusta; and Rachel Reed, 22, of Waterville.
“I am absolutely delighted that two of our new officers are females and bring the number of female officers to three,” Massey said. “Our current female officer is Sgt. Jennifer Weaver — the first female officer ever to attain rank in the history of (the) Waterville Police Department — and she is the communication center’s supervisor.”
Weaver was a patrol officer in the city several years before becoming a sergeant.
Brown graduated this year from Thomas with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice. He also graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s pre-service training program and completed the Waterville police nine-week training program, according to Massey. He graduated from Boiling Springs High School in Boiling Springs, Pa.
Lefferts graduated from Thomas in 2004 with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice. He also graduated from the 18-week Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s basic law enforcement training program.
A Winslow High School graduate, Lefferts served six years as a full-time Winslow police officer. He served less than a year for Waterville police in 2010 when he was laid off because of budget cuts, Massey said.
Smedberg also comes to Waterville from the Winslow Police Department, where she served five years as a full-time officer, according to Massey. A graduate of Cony High School, Smedberg, formerly of Vassalboro, also graduated from the 18-week basic law enforcement training program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
Reed holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Thomas College, having graduated this year. She was an intern at the Police Department from January through May this year and graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy pre-service training program.
She now begins her nine-week police training program in the city and in January will attend the 18-week basic law enforcement training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, according to Massey.
“I am very pleased and confident that I have hired four very competent and dedicated individuals that are committed to serving the residents of Waterville as professional police officers,” he said. “Their enthusiasm to serve will make them valued team members of the Waterville Police Department, upholding our tradition of providing the very high standards of public safety service the community expects and deserves.”
The department also has re-hired police dispatcher Joel Waye, 33, of China, who worked for the department from 2004 to 2011, moved to Australia, then returned to the U.S., Massey said. He said he is pleased to have Waye, a certified communications dispatcher, back.
Waye is a 1999 graduate of Waterville Senior High School and a 2001 graduate of Thomas College with a degree in information technology.
Massey said he applied for a U.S. Department of Justice COPS grant in June to hire an additional officer and expects to hear the results soon.
Amy Calder — 861-9247