December 31, 2012

Franklin County’s sheriff ready for ‘forced’ retirement

Dennis C. Pike, who lost his bid for a fourth term as sheriff, is retiring after 46 years of wearing a police badge.

By KAITLIN SCHROEDER Morning Sentinel

(Continued from page 2)

click image to enlarge

Sheriff Dennis C. Pike is literally at home on the job as his modest Farmington house has long served as annex for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, which the lawman of 46 years headed for three terms prior to losing re-election to Scott Nichols. But the 74-year-old Pike has had a lively career in law enforcement and is ready to hand over the badge.

David Leaming/Morning Sentinel

She said the phone was always ringing and people would stop by at all hours of the night. He'd mow the lawn and three people would see he was home and stop by.

"Sometimes as a kid it would get annoying, but in the end I think he had patience with people that other people would not have given the time of day," she said.

'SHERIFF'S ANNEX'

And people in crisis do not have to look hard to find him at any hour of the day.

His yellow house, bought shortly after he became an officer, is less than a mile from the sheriff's department, and when he became sheriff he moved his office to his house and hung a sign up in the front yard that said "Sheriff's Annex."

"I doubt there are many people in the area who don't know just where to find me," he said.

People stop at all hours of the day at his Fairbanks Road home, and he said he always lets them in and tries to help with whatever problem they bring with them.

Meldrum said Pike has been known to talk for hours with people.

"Time doesn't occur to him one bit and everyone who knows him will tell you this," he said.

He said when he first became an officer, he thought people would be more likely to seek help from someone easy to talk to who made himself available.

"That's always the kind of officer I wanted to be seen as. It may be the first time in a person's whole life a situation had popped up and they are just looking for some help," he said.

He said he's never considered it a problem to have people know where to find him.

"I've been very open, very public and very exposed. I used to be a little distressed from the telemarketers, but no problems from the townspeople," he said.

After 46 years at a job that never leaves, Ouellette said she can't picture her dad slowing down after retirement. She said she thinks he will be as available to the community as he always has been.

"I don't know if in his mind he'll ever be ready to retire," she said. "I think he thinks that's what old people do, and he doesn't really see himself there yet."

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Kaitlin Schroeder can be contacted at 861-9252 or at:

kschroeder@mainetoday.com

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