BUXTON — Police Chief Troy Cline is back on patrol duty after COVID-19 has left the town’s police force shorthanded.

Two officers have tested positive for COVID-19, Cline said Tuesday. Both are off duty and in quarantine.

With two of his officers infected with COVID-19, Buxton Police Chief Troy Cline has been filling in on patrol duty. File photo

With a small staff, Cline is now on patrol duty three days a week.

Cline reported Nov. 21 that one officer had tested positive for COVID-19 and another tested probable. The officer with the probable case has since tested positive.

The entire Police Department staff, sworn and civilian, has been tested, he said, and the police station and vehicles have been cleaned under CDC guidelines.

The Buxton Police Department will continue to handle calls for service in the community with assistance, if necessary, from neighboring agencies.

“I would like to reassure our citizens that every protection measure is being taken in accordance with the Maine Center for Disease Control during all interactions with the community,” Cline said in an email to the American Journal.

The Buxton department was already one full-time officer short of its authorized strength of nine, but three newly hired officers are still in training, Cline said.  The department has four part-time officers.

Cline said he’ll be back to his administrative duties when the new hires have completed the field training program.

“Being a small department, I am in the unique position of being used to working short staffed,” he said.

According to the most recent statistics from the state, 55 cases of COVID-19 have been reported for the Buxton zip code.

Comments are not available on this story.