Browville residents disband police department

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BROWNVILLE — The Brownville Police Department has been formally disbanded following a special town meeting on May 1 at the Brownville Elementary School.

By a written ballot count of 104 to 34, citizens voted to disband the department and discontinue municipal police services. The item featured no discussion from the public after it was motioned and seconded as written.

Those present at the special town meeting also voted — via a majority of raised hands — to authorize the selectmen to dispose of all community-owned police equipment and vehicles being used by the town.

When asked, the audience was told the three-vehicle fleet is all paid for. “I believe that we would be putting it out to bid, a general public bid,” Selectman George Dean said.
“There’s some miscellaneous equipment, a shotgun or two, some miscellaneous uniform equipment and some tasers as well,” Dean added.

Moderator Terry Knowles said monies received from the sale of police equipment “will go into the town-owned property account.”

During the annual town meeting in March, residents voted to defund the Brownville Police Department via a tally of 131-43 and instead rely on existing coverage from the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office for the region as of April 1. In mid-March the proposed sum of $167,620 for the police department was amended to $35,767 — enough to operate the agency for the first three months of the year.

The Brownville Police Department had been located in the town office on Route 11, and the equipment is being stored at the building with the three vehicles parked outside by the adjacent public works facility. Non-emergency calls to the town office — which handles inquiries for the various community departments — are now being directed to the sheriff’s office and 9-1-1 calls are going to the county agency.

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