Sheriff’s Lt. Kane named Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
GUILFORD — A Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant who has served as the DARE officer in area schools for more than two decades, goes above and beyond the call of duty and who gives back in other ways is now the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Lt. Jamie Kane received news of the honor during a surprise presentation by Valley Grange Lecturer and Program Director Walter Boomsma during a morning grade 5 DARE class on Friday, March 29 at Piscatquis Community Elementary School.
The entire PCES fifth grade squeezed into the classroom to recognize Kane, with students making cards recognizing the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year as well as a congratulations banner to hang on the classroom whiteboard.
“I want to make sure the kids understand why I’m here today,” Boomsma said. He mentioned last spring Kane received the Valley Grange’s 2018 Community Citizen of the Year honor in recognition of all he does for the region and Kane later earned the Maine State Grange Officer of the Year Award.
As the top member of law enforcement in the state per the Grange, Kane was eligible for the regional honor among New England and New York Granges. With the latest award, Kane is now eligible for the national Grange honor.
Boomsma apologized for not having an award plaque ready in time for the announcement but he presented Kane with two substitute items. “You are the big cheese and the top banana,” Boomsma said as he gave Kane a block of cheese and a banana, with the words “Big Cheese” and “Top Banana” written in black marker on the respective plastic food wrapper and peel.
“I want to thank you very much, I do not do it for any other reason than I enjoy being with the kids,” Kane said. He also thanked the teachers and administrators he has worked with.
Kane told the students the cards will go up on the wall in his office.
“I think he’s really great and he teaches us how to be safe,” fifth-grader Ava Goulette said about Kane.
“We get to learn and do things about resisting drugs,” Hope Hunt added.
Brady Ball said the lessons Kane teaches in DARE classes are important so “we won’t get into drugs when we get older.”
“He’s really nice and he can be funny too,” Lizzi Gilbert said.
“He sometimes makes funny faces and tells funny stories,” Goulette explained.
“When something funny happens and you start laughing it’s easier to remember than other things,” Molly Goodwin said.
“I think it’s really great he was awarded this because I think he’s a really great officer,” Hunt said.
Cooper Mozsgae said during a recent lesson the class had a handout showing how cigarettes and alcohol can affect the mouth and other organs.
“He is a great teacher, he likes to be around kids, Mozsgae said. “He likes to hang out with them, that’s the whole reason he likes his job.”
“It’s not what we do the job for but it’s a great honor to be recognized for doing the work that we do.,” Kane said during a brief break between two DARE sessions. “A lot of officers do a lot of great work, I work with a lot of great officers and they also do great work, so it’s nice to be recognized.”
“Any time you can influence kids in a positive way it’s a great thing, it’s enjoyable and it’s the best part of my job,” he said. “I’ve been very fortunate to be able to do it for over 20 years here in this school and I enjoy it immensely, the kids are great.”
In the DARE classes, which Kane has instructed across the region during his career and also currently teaches at the SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft, “We talk about the things that are going on, things that are affecting them and making good decisions, being positive role models, making positive choices, the dangers of what drugs can do to you. We see it everyday unfortunately and the kids have a lot of questions and we’re there as a resource to answer those questions and hopefully help the children learn there’s better ways to go about your day than making poor decisions.”
“I’m very fortunate, the people I work with pick up the slack when I have to leave to go to the school but it’s a priority,” he said in giving credit to his colleagues at the sheriff’s department. “It’s a priority for our agency, our department and our communities to work with the children and the officers I work with are great, they cover when I am at the schools. We try to do anything we can to help our schools because these children are our future and anything we can do to help them is going to be nothing but positive.”
Kane said working with youth is important “not only because we work here but we live here so it affects us as well so anything we can do to help the kids, help the community to make things safer and better and healthier for the kids then that’s what we need to do.”
“It’s very humbling,” he said about becoming the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. “It’s not why we do it, we do it for the kids to help the kids and work with the community. You try to help, that’s what the job is.”