Rumford Police hires new officer

Posted By: Chief Tony Milligan

At Thursday night's Selectmen's meeting, the Board unanimously confirmed Chief Milligan's request to appoint Robert Haseltine as Rumford's newest police officer. His official start date will be July 26.

Robert Haseltine is a 22-year-old citizen of Rumford. He was born in Chester, Vermont and upon graduating from High School, decided to pursue a career relating to public safety the emergency response field.

Robert attended Paul Smiths College in New York and successfully earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree. During his Freshman year of college, Robert joined the Medical Emergency Response Team where he responded to on-campus EMS calls. In his Sophomore year, Robert completed education and certification required to become a licensed Emergency Medical Technician. During his Senior year in college, Robert held the position of Training Captain and Recruitment Officer where he facilitated EMS trainings for first responders at the college.

As Robert further refined and evaluated his goals, he decided to pursue a career in law enforcement in Maine and began taking the prerequisite courses on his own to become eligible for Maine Criminal Justice Academy certification. Upon successfully completing the academy’s reserve officer training program, Robert was hired in the summer of 2018 by the Old Orchard Beach Police Department where he was assigned a foot beat for the summer on the beach as a seasonal, part-time reserve officer. In 2019, Robert returned to Old Orchard Beach for a second season, this time upgrading to a patrol car beat, which carried more duties and responsibilities, handling calls such as traffic incidents, domestic disputes and reports of criminal activity.

Realizing that law enforcement was the correct career path for him, Robert decided to find a law enforcement agency that would offer more hours and opportunities, rather than just seasonal work. In January 2020, Robert moved to Rumford and was hired as a part-time officer in Dixfield handling calls for service on his own. Seeking more opportunities, Robert also sought employment at the Jay Police Department and was hired there as well in March 2020 as a part-time officer.

Eager to learn more and advance his career in law enforcement, and hearing how busy and diverse the Rumford Police are on any given day, Robert decided that he wanted to make his full-time career with the Rumford PD and applied for one of three current full-time vacancies we have.

"I liked what I read when I took a look at Robert’s resume and had a good feeling that he would be worth investing in. I tasked my chief of detectives with conducting a thoroughly aggressive background investigation, which resulted in nothing of concern to me", Chief Milligan told the Board.

"On July 2nd, I presented an Offer of Conditional Employment to Robert with a $2,000 incentive, as authorized recently by the Board of Selectmen, contingent upon him meeting standards for full-time Maine Law Enforcement Officer, meet minimum training entrance standards to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy as mandated by law, meeting sufficient physical conditions as determined by a medical history and examination, successfully passing a polygraph examination and psychological examination, and any other requirements specified by the Rumford Police Department. Robert accepted the offer and further agreed, in writing, to a minimum 3-year commitment of full-time employment with the Rumford Police Department beginning upon graduation from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s 18-week Basic Law Enforcement Training Program", said Chief Milligan.

The terms of the cash incentive offer is $250 paid in his first payroll check after being hired full-time, followed by another $250 paid after successful completion of the Rumford Police Field Training Program (which is usually an 8 to 10 week program and then Robert is authorized to work a patrol zone of his own while his partner works in the adjacent zone.) After completing the FTO program, another $500 is paid after completion of 10 regular patrol shifts. The final payment of $1,000 is paid upon successful completion of the 18-week Basic Law Enforcement Training Program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, making Robert a fully-certified law enforcement officer.

On Wednesday, Robert successfully passed a Polygraph Examination conducted by the Maine State Police and earlier today, successfully passed an extensive Psychological Examination required for new officer candidates. Chief Milligan told the Board, "We have checked all the boxes and looked long and hard at Robert and believe that he will be a good fit and fine addition to the Rumford Police Force. I am therefore recommending you vote to approve Robert Haseltine’s appointment as full-time officer for the Rumford Police Department." The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to approve the appointment.

Officer Haseltine will officially hit the streets on Sunday, July 26 at 6:00 a.m. when he begins the field training program supervised by trainers Cpl. Lawrence Winson and Officer Bradlee Gallant. Officer Haseltine will be attending the 18-week Basic Law Enforcement Training Program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro at a date to be determined.

Community members wishing to send a message of welcome and encouragement may be sent to: rhaseltine@rumfordpd.com