Sgt. Grant appointed acting Dover-Foxcroft police chief
DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Board of Selectmen has appointed Police Sgt. Matt Grant to serve as acting chief for an indefinite period during its regular meeting held Sept. 28 in the Morton Avenue Municipal Building Gymnasium.
Police Chief Ryan Reardon was placed on administrative leave after his arrest last week on aggravated assault and domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon charges. Grant’s acting chief status will be subject to review by the Board of Selectmen’s Protection Committee.
“Everybody’s aware that Chief Reardon has been placed on administrative leave,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said.
Reardon was arrested Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Bangor and taken to Penobscot County Jail. On Friday, Sept. 25, he made his initial appearance in Penobscot County Superior Court, charged with Class B aggravated assault and Class C domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon after he allegedly attempted to strangle a woman with whom he was having an affair.
Reardon posted a $5,000 cash bail with conditions in place for his release. Reardon’s dispositional conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, in Piscataquis County. His current annual salary is $64,800.
“There is a process in place where he faces disciplinary action in town so he needs to remain on leave until that disciplinary action takes place,” Clukey said about Reardon.
Once Reardon was placed on administrative leave, Grant assumed responsibilities for the day-to-day operations of the police department.
Grant joined the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department as sergeant at the start of 2019 following his retirement the previous spring after 28 years with the Maine State Police. Grant served as a troop investigator, underwater recovery team commander and corporal. He has lived in Dover-Foxcroft for more than two decades.
In other business, the selectmen learned more about a new heavy rescue truck the fire department recently acquired. After discussion with the protection committee the week before, the department was given the go-ahead to move forward with the truck purchase using proceeds from the Gray Fund — a trust fund left to the fire department.
Clukey said the fire department had applied for a $680,000 grant for a new rescue truck and another $140,000 grant for new air packs. He said both applications were turned down, and the town will reapply to FEMA next year for the airpacks.
“We did not receive good news on that so we went to plan B,” the town manager said. He said fire department officials were able to locate a vehicle meeting their desired criteria for $55,000 to replace a 1985 model. The older truck will be sold with proceeds to go back into the Gray Fund.
“We found a heavy rescue truck in Rochester, New York — 17,000 miles on it, it’s a 1999, six-man cab, diesel, automatic, almost too good to be true,” Fire Chief Joe Guyotte said.
He explained the fire department in western New York bought the then new truck about two decades ago but ended up not using the vehicle nearly as often as had been thought, and finally decided to put it up for sale.
The selectmen also signed a memorandum of agreement between the town and MDOT for the former Dead River building and parcel at the corner of South and East Main streets. The document calls for Dover-Foxcroft to collaborate on the project by removing the structure and re-grading the site. MDOT has agreed to provide the town with a license to use any part of the property not required for the future highway improvement project to alleviate some of the traffic issues downtown.
“We did have a walk-through with the state a few weeks ago,” Clukey said. He said some items were salvaged, including door frames, bathroom fixtures and a boiler and “we feel we are likely to reuse these at some point.”
“We are hoping that early 2021 we will see an empty space there,” Clukey said.
Selectperson Jane Conroy wondered if there were any items of historical significance in the former Dead River Building.
“Not anything that I could see walking through,” Clukey said.
Again in 2020, the selectmen approved a resolution proclaiming October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the town. The proclamation urges citizens to join others throughout the state in recognizing the month by honoring the survivors of domestic violence and dedicating themselves to the task of making Dover-Foxcroft a safer place for all.
Clukey reported the downtown committee had an organization meeting two weeks prior.
“There’s really a lot of energy and really a lot of energy to volunteer,” he said. The town manager said small clean-up projects were mentioned and this could lead to some larger projects, with another committee meeting potentially to be held in November.
During public comment Conroy said, “The county budget process will be starting the 8th with the weekly meetings and the public hearing at the end of November, dates to be determined.”