AUGUSTA — A weekly web talk show hosted by Chief Jared Mills aims to help the Augusta Police Department increase its outreach and connect more personally with the public through social media.

Three generations of law enforcement workers sat down Tuesday with the chief. The conversation, the latest in the series, was uploaded Dec. 5 to the department’s YouTube channel as part of the “Chat with the Chief” weekly video series.

The latest episode included Alaska State Trooper Drew Massey; his father, Augusta Police Lt. Chris Massey; and his grandfather, Waterville Police Chief Joe Massey. State Trooper Chris Tupper, who is Drew Massey’s uncle, also joined the conversation.

The group spoke candidly about how they came to be law enforcement officers, starting with Joe Massey’s initial interest in the job because it did not have a routine and he was excited by it. Both Chris and Drew Massey both said they were influenced by their fathers to become law enforcement officers.

Chris Massey, discussing the episode with the Kennebec Journal on Sunday morning, said it was unique to have three generations still actively working in the same field. He said he was proud of his son for becoming a law enforcement officer, but he also would have been open to less-dangerous, more-lucrative career paths.

“You want your kids to be better than you,” he said. “If he would have said, ‘Jeez, dad, I want to go to school and be a doctor,’ I certainly would have encouraged that as well.”

During the episode, Drew Massey said he and three to five other troopers patrol an area of Alaska the size of New Jersey. He said the state is similar to Maine in some ways, but the state is much more expansive. He said some of the people he sees on calls have not seen law enforcement in more than a decade.

Chris Massey said the episode was a “proud moment” for his family.

Mills told the Kennebec Journal on Sunday that Staff Sgt. Christian Behr hatched the idea for the talk show. Mills said he had to be convinced people would take it seriously. They began recording episodes in September, and 19 have now been posted.

“I kind of laughed it at first,” he said. “It’s been really well-received.”

Mills said the public has suggested topics for episodes, including how changes to signs at the intersection of Water Street and Bridge Street affect traffic rules.

Chris Massey said the “Chat with the Chief” videos are meant to improve the Police Department’s relationship with the public, who can sometimes view them negatively.

Alaska State Trooper Drew Massey discusses his career Sunday via FaceTime during an episode of “Chat with the Chief,” taped at the Augusta Police Station. Augusta Police Chief Jared Mills interviewed Massey’s father, Augusta Police Lt. Chris Massey, and grandfather, Waterville Police Chief Joe Massey, for the online program. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“We don’t do stuff they always like and some of the things we deal with, we don’t necessarily … really want to do that today,” he said. “For us to be successful, we can’t do it alone. We need to communicate.”

Mills said the videos usually take 20 minutes to record and the editing process is fairly quick. He said the department is too busy to increase production value and the errors and rough edges show the department’s human side. In one video, he said, Behr is seen falling over in a blooper real.

“We want people to realize we’re human and it’s all about being approachable,” he said.

Mills said he has seen police departments in other states using social media to answer questions and explain their processes, but not many in Maine.


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