Trooper Jeremy Forbes shows no sign of slowing down.
When the 17-year veteran receives his trooper of the year honor Tuesday at the Maine State Police awards ceremony in Vassalboro it will be his second time receiving the honor.
He was trooper of the year in 2004 as well.
“His work ethic is second to none and his attitude is infectious among the other troopers in the troop,” said Maine State Police Sgt. Robert Burke.
The last time Forbes was in the news, he was arresting Gary Alan Irving, the Massachusetts serial rapist who was living a low-key life in Gorham 35 years after he absconded before sentencing.
Forbes might also be the guy who gave you a ticket for not wearing your seat belt, or provided a demonstration for local schoolchildren with his K-9.
Forbes is being recognized because of his breadth, thoroughness and vigorous approach to police work.
“He makes those that work with and around him better at their jobs and is looked upon as a leader in the law enforcement community,” said Burke.
Forbes has worked in Troop A in York County since he started 1996. He says he enjoys working the road and is content to avoid supervisory positions in favor of driving a cruiser.
Forbes has spent most of his career as a K-9 officer, and he is currently paired with Champ, a German shepherd-pit bull mix trained for both patrol and drug detection.
Forbes said working to stop drug trafficking is the most satisfying facet of police work. “It’s your biggest bang for the buck, taking drug traffickers off the street,” he said, adding that drugs and addiction are behind most burglaries and many thefts, assaults and home invasions.
Forbes was credited for helping coordinate an investigation in which a series of residential burglaries in York County led police to a heroin-trafficking operation linked to suppliers from the Dominican Republic based in Massachusetts. Police used informants and wiretaps to gather intelligence and evidence, ultimately leading to a series of federal convictions, thousands of dollars seized and hundreds of grams of heroin taken off the streets.
“I’d be lying if I said I never get discouraged,” he said. “It’s not like TV, where everything is wrapped in a bow. But you fall down, get up and you go on. If you don’t go on, they’re going to win,” he said of criminals such as drug dealers.
Forbes said he has no plans to slow down. “I like to make a difference. It doesn’t always happen that way, but every day I try,” he said. “It’s nice to go home after hours and know you accomplished something,” Forbes said.
David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]