SKOWHEGAN — The U.S. Secret Service has selected a detective with the Skowhegan Police Department as one of 25 people nationwide to attend a weeklong training session in forensic analysis and investigative methods.

Detective Sgt. Kelly Hooper, whose 30-year career in law enforcement has included stops at several agencies in Maine and Montana, was likely nominated by a Secret Service agent, according to Skowhegan Chief of Police David Bucknam.

Hooper will receive training in digital extrapolation investigations.

“It’s a lot of hands-on training with forensic analysis tools and legal issues,” Hooper said. “It’s definitely a great class, and I’m really excited to go.”

Added Bucknam: “We are very excited and humbled by the fact that Skowhegan Police Department made the list, and Detective Sgt. Hooper will be attending the class.”

The class will be taught from March 30 to April 3 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Detective Sgt. Kelly Hooper of the Skowhegan Police Department, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, has been selected to attend a U.S. Secret Service training course. Hooper will study digital technology investigations. She is shown Monday at the Skowhegan Municipal Building, which houses the Police Department, at 225 Water St.

Hooper began her 30 years working in law enforcement in 1990 with the Fairfield Police Department. In 1999, she was promoted to detective in Fairfield and served there until 2005, when she left to pursue a job with the Skowhegan Police Department.

In 2008, she was promoted to detective in Skowhegan, and in late 2011 Hooper was assigned full time to Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, for which she worked until 2016, when she took a position in probation and parole in Kalispell, Montana.

Hooper returned to Skowhegan in 2017, initially working at the Skowhegan precinct full time, then joining the Oakland Police Department full time and bumping down to part time in Skowhegan.

“When she left to go to Montana is when I moved in here and took over as chief,” Bucknam said. “I worked with Kelly when she was a Maine drug agent. I was a detective at Kennebec at the time, so I knew her very well. When I took over as chief, she wanted to come back.

“Her experience is phenomenal to have here, but we didn’t have a detective position for her, so she worked on the road. She decided to go over to Oakland police because they had some different opportunities for her. When a detective sergeant position opened up here, she applied here and blew everybody out of the water.”

While she works full time at Skowhegan, she also continues to work part time at Oakland.

Hooper said the Secret Service class will help her continue to expand her investigative skills and keep up with an increase in cybercrimes, such as stalking and terrorizing, which have followed the increase in social media use.

“Any cases that come my way are from Facebook, Snapchat, any social media, really,” Hooper said. “Any investigations concerning any sexual crimes, harassment, terrorizing. If there’s a crime that occurs, we try to determine where the person was at the time of the crime.”

Patrol officers often take the initial incident reports, Hooper said. If there is need for an extensive investigation, the officers turn the case over to the detective division.

“There’s a lot of social media terrorizing, harassment and stalking,” Hooper said. “Stalking is really, really up and coming. It’s elusive. It’s hard to track where they are coming from.”

Following the course in Alabama, Hooper said, she will return and share her knowledge with her colleagues.

“It was great to get nominated, and I’m glad that I was chosen to be able to take one of these courses” Hooper said. “There are several more that I hope to be able to go to.”

Bucknam said a main focus at his department is having officers receive training in many areas. And when an officer becomes receive training or gains proficiency in a certain area, that officers then shares that knowledge with his or her colleagues.

“She’s an incredible police officer,” Bucknam said. “Her investigative skills are top-notch. Her experience and time in law enforcement has really assisted her in her career.

“A lot of my officers call her ‘mom’ because she is able to communicate with them on such a great level of professionalism. She is just very easy to talk to.”

Bucknam said Hoopers’ being selected for the Secret Service course should help keep the Skowhegan Police Department informed on some of the latest methods and processes used in investigations.

“It’s amazing that she was nominated and then selected to attend this course,” Bucknam said. “Very few people get to go. It’s a nationwide turnout for the class.

“I know that all of the information that she’s going to take back with her from the class is going to be used in our fight to keep this town safe and community protected. It’s also incredible to have the town of Skowhegan recognized at all as we further our efforts to put the town on the map.”


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