Kate’s Homemade Butter just relocated all of its operations to Arundel, and they’re not the only ones moving to the area. Some say Arundel is the fastest growing town in Maine, but town officials are not letting town services suffer under this unprecedented growth. Arundel is one of the 14 towns without an organized police force; consequently, the York County Sheriff’s Office provides its policing service. Town officials know that our deputies are spread thin; we typically staff three deputies (two during the early morning hours) to cover an area that encompasses nearly 520 square miles.

The residents of Arundel have taken the proactive step to contract with the sheriff’s office for additional coverage. With a little more than 4,000 residents within its 24 square miles, the citizens of Arundel agreed to hire a specific deputy, referred to as a “contract deputy,” to work exclusively in their town. A contract deputy has an opportunity to know the town and its individual policing challenges. For 40 hours each week, the deputy provides consistent, reliable coverage. More important, the assignment of a contract deputy allows for true community policing, because he or she knows the community and can engage the residents for assistance to address quality of life issues.

We often confuse the concept of community policing with “public relations.” Community policing includes pubic relations, but true community policing has three components: community partnerships, organizational transformation and problem solving. Arundel’s contract deputy, Troy Chenard, practices community policing in Arundel.

Chenard was born and raised in Waterboro, graduated from Massabesic High School and continued his education at Southern Maine Community College, earning an associate’s degree in law enforcement. He completed additional course work at McIntosh College in New Hampshire and obtained a certificate in business.

Chenard commenced his law enforcement career as a summer officer at the Kennebunk Police Department. He obtained a full-time position at the Buxton Police Department and transferred to Sanford Police Department before donning the green shirt and campaign hat to fulfill a vacancy at the York County Sheriff’s Office.

The York County sheriff was impressed with Chenard’s outstanding investigative skills and community involvement, so when a vacancy was created in Arundel, he was an easy choice.

“We are very pleased with Troy’s work, and the connection he has made in our community,” said Arundel Town Manager Todd Shea, recently ”“ and that sentiment is echoed throughout Arundel.

Chenard is a well-trained deputy. In addition to his college degree, he has taken advantage of training opportunities that were presented throughout his career. He is comfortable investigating a serious felony, writing a traffic ticket or sitting and reading to a group of children at a day care center. He is malleable to the various situations that occur in a small town. He epitomizes community policing because he has forged collaborative partnerships with the community and they have developed a trust in his judgment to address community problems.

Quickly after being assigned to Arundel, Chenard noticed that Arundel had a traffic control challenge. Arundel has two major thoroughfares, Route 111, which is the Alfred Road, and Route 1, which is the Portland Road. The Department of Transportation estimates that more than 19,000 cars travel on Route 111 through Arundel every day. The Portland Road is nearly as busy.

The intersection of Alfred Road and Hill Road has been designated as one of the most dangerous intersections in Maine because it has a high incidence of crashes. To cut down on these crashes, Chenard will often focus on the area, either with a directed patrol or operating a radar device. He stopped about 750 vehicles last year to encourage voluntary compliance of the traffic laws.

His work also extends far beyond traffic policing. Det. Sgt. Mike Hayes was quick to compliment Chenard’s investigative acumen. With three detectives, Hayes encourages all deputies to take active ownership of the serious offenses that occur in their towns.

When an elderly homeowner was bilked out of money in a home repair scam, Chenard thoroughly investigated the crime and it will soon be prosecuted. He was also instrumental in locating a man wanted for armed robbery who foolishly wandered through the Town of Arundel. Chenard is keenly aware of most activities that occur in the town.

Arundel is a family-friendly town. Whenever a community event occurs, you will find Chenard at the event, often with his spouse, Sherry, and two children. Last year, he and his family assisted the sheriff’s office with “Operation Blue Light” at Halloween. He also volunteered to go into the “dunk tank” to help raise money for charity during the Arundel Heritage Day celebration.

It is clear to all that Chenard enjoys working in the town, where he is the police chief, lead detective, community relations officer and traffic enforcement officer. Most notably, he wants to share his excitement for his town with his family.

— William L. King Jr. is chief deputy of the York County Sheriff’s Department.

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