AUGUSTA — Augusta police Major Jared Mills still recalls being in Anthony Drouin’s shoes: Young, excited, wondering what the future holds.

At the time of his swearing in, Mills says now, he never imagined he would one day hold the second-highest rank in the Augusta Police Department.

The department celebrated Mills’ promotion, along with those of three other officers, when Drouin was sworn in Friday as the Augusta’s newest patrol officer.

“Each step I’ve taken in the process has opened my eyes to something different,” said Mills, 37, who was promoted to chief deputy last month. “It’s been a huge learning experience.”

The department on Friday also recognized promotions of three other men: Christopher Massey, who moved up from patrol sergeant to lieutenant; Christian Behr, who was promoted from patrol officer to patrol sergeant; and Vicente Morris, who was promoted from detective to patrol sergeant.

Mills, who joined the department in 1998, said his job is part administration and part patrol commander.

As a patrol commander, Mills will make sure schedules are complete and shifts are filled. As an administrator, he is responsible for making sure the officers are well equipped and trained.

“I get what people need to get the job done,” Mills said.

Mills said one of his goals is to coordinate volunteers who can assist with certain administrative duties, such as data entry and analysis. The volunteer program was recommended in a report conducted by International Chiefs of Police Association.

“There are certain tasks that at this point we have to employ sworn officers to do, which takes them away from their time on the road,” Mills said. “In this day and age, every municipality is forced to do the same with less (money).”

Drouin’s hire leaves the department with just two positions to fill to be fully staffed, and staff have begun the process of screening applicants.

The department also will begin the process of introducing a community juvenile officer, Mills said. The specifics for that position have not been finalized, but the department will seek input from school administrators, Mills said.

“It’s an exciting place to work and I’m very excited about where we are going,” Mills said. “The guys and gals at this police department do a tremendous job. People here work very hard.”

Mills has worked in the department’s traffic safety division, criminal investigation division and patrol division.

“It seems like he hasn’t spent a lot of time in any one position,” Augusta police Chief Robert Gregoire joked when announcing Mills’ promotion Friday.

Mills, who wears a perpetual smile and exudes friendliness, has always worked under Gregoire in one capacity or another.

“I’ve known him since he was first hired,” Gregoire said. “He hasn’t changed a lot in personality or motivation.”

Massey, who will serve as the evening watch commander overseeing patrolmen and sergeants, joined the department in 1996. As with Mills, he has served as both a patrol officer and detective.

“He’s a wonderful young man,” Gregoire said. “He’s done a lot of things for this department and the city of Augusta.”

Massey, who oversaw the patrol officers as a sergeant for the past five years, said his new position will require more administrative duties.

“It’s a progression in your career,” Massey said of the promotion.

Massey, whose father, Joseph, is Waterville’s police chief, has two uncles that also were police officers. When Christopher Massey started, he said he set a goal to continue moving up the ranks in the department.

“I’ve accomplished that now,” he said.

Behr, who joined the department in 1995, has helped break in 14 new police officer as the departments field training officers.

A 1st sergeant in the Maine Army National Guard, Behr said he enjoys teaching people how to do their jobs. His position as a sergeant will allow him to continue using those skills, Behr said.

“It’s up to us to keep training them,” he said. “My philosophy is to show them what right looks like.”

Morris, who was hired in 2001, has helped solve a number of crimes during his time in the investigation’s division, Gregoire said.

Morris said the move to sergeant is necessary for career advancement, but the transition is not without some regret.

“I am going to miss the investigative side,” Morris said. “Eventually I’d like to be back in CID.”

Drouin, a 2007 graduate of Leavitt Area High School, most recently worked as a reserve officer for the Ashland police department while finishing a bachelor of science degree in public safety at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

He is set to attend the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro beginning in August.

“This is my career goal,” Drouin said. “I’ve accomplished my dream and I can’t wait to start.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]


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