AUGUSTA — Longtime Maine prison guard Gary LaPlante is the new director of security for the Maine Department of Corrections.

The department announced LaPlante’s appointment Wednesday.

LaPlante became a guard at the Maine State Prison in Thomaston more than 25 years ago and has served as a sergeant, correctional investigator and correctional captain in the prison system. He has also held administrative positions at the Maine Correctional Center and the corrections department’s central office.

He holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Maine at Augusta.

Maine Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick said in a statement that LaPlante has been “instrumental” in implementing several processes in the corrections department, including K-9 and mapping programs.

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