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Mexico police now fully staffed
MEXICO -- At least for now, the Mexico Police Department is now fully staffed.
At the Dec. 28 meeting of the Mexico Board of Selectmen, the board approved Police Chief Jim Theriault's recommendation to hire Kyle Matthews of Otisfield as a fulltime officer for the department.
Theriault said Matthews will be the fifth officer paid for by a three-year police grant. A little over a year of that grant went to pay for Brad Gallant, who left the department in the fall to join the Rumford police force.
The chief recommended Matthews, who has served as a reserve officer here for several months, after telling selectmen that there were no applications for the fulltime position after it was advertised.
Applications closed on Dec. 23.
Theriault said he recommended Matthews because as a reserve, he has been "putting his heart and soul into it."
Matthews, who has completed the 100-hour reserve officer course, will have to go to the police academy next January. That will be after another officer, Josh Aylward, goes to the academy next August.
Theriault said Matthews plans to move to the River Valley area.
Selectmen also approved Theriault's recommendation to hire Dixfield police officer Eric Bernier of Livermore Falls as a reserve officer. Bernier, who has served as an officer in Dixfield for four to five years, has received his training from the academy.
Meanwhile, in Rumford, Police Chief Stacy Carter is trying to find two more officers to restore the roster to 12 including himself. One of those would be the utility officer, who helps to reduce the overtime by filling in for people when they're on vacation, personal days, sick leave, training and deployment.