Saco Deputy Police Chief Jack Clements sits at his desk on Monday. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

Saco Deputy Police Chief Jack Clements sits at his desk on Monday. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

SACO — New Deputy Police Chief Jack Clements retired from a department of about 5,000 employees to work for a department of 50.

He said though the geography may be different than Las Vegas, where he previously worked, and the names and faces have changed, it’s still the same job, and though it’s a different scale, he’s proportionately busy.

“Police work is police work. It really doesn’t matter where you are, it’s the same all over the country,” he said.

Clements, 48, began working in Saco April 10, after retiring with nearly 25 years experience with the  Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

He was interested in police work from a young age, and recalls watching reruns of “Adam-12” as a child.

“Every single day is different. I like the fact that when you come to work every day, there’s a new challenge,” he said.

Clements has an impressive resume and a diverse work background.

When he retired from the department in Las Vegas, he was a lieutenant assigned to the Convention Center Area Command covering the Las Vegas strip.

He also worked in Air Support/Search and Rescue, with duties that included overseeing six helicopters, a high angle technical rope rescue and dive team.

He was also in charge of a K-9 unit, and with the position came the duty of backup SWAT director. Clements also served as executive sergeant in the Office of the Sheriff, the 15th largest policing squad in the country.

While in Las Vegas, Clements also ran a community policing squad in an inner-city substation, where he worked in schools and neighborhoods, working on programs and partnerships to make an impact on the amount of violent crime in the area and to increase the quality of life.

Clements said he learned that sometimes you have to think outside the box for ways to reduce crime and improve the safety of communities.

“You can’t arrest your way out of every problem,” he said.

Clements said working as a deputy chief in a smaller department, he is able to draw on all his experiences in variety of areas.

“I look back on my career that I had there and really, coming here as a deputy chief, is putting it all together,” he said.

Clements is originally from Kennebunk, and first worked as a police officer in Windham from 1990-1992. His wife is originally from Windham, and with two sons, ages 8 and 11, they decided to move back to southern Maine to be closer to family. He is enjoying catching up with relatives and being back in New England.

He also enjoys working with the Saco Police Department and the Saco community.

“I wake up every day and pinch myself,” he said. “It really is fun. I enjoy it.”

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, Ext. 325 or [email protected]

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