AUGUSTA — Maine State Police’s Troop D has a new commanding officer — and it’s a familiar face.

Lt. Pat Hood, who has been part of Troop D since he graduated from the police academy in 1999, was promoted Monday during a short ceremony at the Department of Public Safety Building on Commerce Drive. A number of troopers and game wardens were in attendance.

“It’s amazing that I’ve worked with everyone here, and I’m better off for it,” Hood said as the ceremony closed.

Maine State Police Lt. Pat Hood, right, and his wife, Mandy, speak with Sgt. Jason Madore and Cpl. Bethany Robinson following a promotion ceremony for Hood on Monday in Augusta. Hood was elevated to command Troop D — an area that includes Knox, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo and portions of Kennebec County — after serving his entire 21-year career in the region both as a patrol officer and sergeant. He will oversee 22 troopers. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Hood is originally from New Hampshire but graduated from the University of Maine with a criminal justice degree. After going to the police academy, he was immediately assigned to Troop D and spent 11 years on patrol before becoming a sergeant. He said his prior leadership and experience in the troop will make the transition easier.

“I’ve spent my whole career here, (and the troopers) all know me,” he said. ” I think we’ll make a smooth transition.”

Troop D patrols the Midcoast — including Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo and Knox counties and inland parts of southern Kennebec County and northern Cumberland County. Troop D also patrols Interstate 295 from Brunswick to Gardiner. There are 22 troopers and two detectives assigned to the troop.

The biggest issue they face, Hood said, is the opioid crisis. He said the troop’s geographic location — encompassing U.S. Route 1 and Interstate 95 — allows for a flow of drugs to enter even the most rural towns.

“We have an opportunity to be in the right place at the right time and really dig into the problem,” Hood said.

He succeeds Lt. Aaron Hayden, who is moving to a position at the same rank with Troop K, also known as the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit. Hayden, who was the commanding officer for Troop D for a little more than five years, said he was excited about the move.

“There’s a lot of opportunities to learn,” he said. “I’m excited to work with that group of people.”

Hayden was confident in Hood’s ability to lead the troop, saying the new leader knew the troop “better than anyone else.” He said he would be offering advice to Hood when needed, as their offices are just across the hall.

“I’ve been … just mentoring him a little bit,” he said. “Pat’s well-versed within the troop, (and) he’s going to do great things.”

 

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666
[email protected]
Twitter: @SamShepME


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