WESTBROOK — Police Chief Janine Roberts will be honored Friday as a children’s advocate and community builder.

Roberts. Courtesy photo

Spurwink Services, a non-profit mental health and behavioral health treatment organization, will present Roberts with its 33rd Humanitarian Award.

“We see that she has had a commitment to the community and to relationships and those are really reflective of how we operate at Spurwink,” Vice President of Development Kristen Farnham.

“We are all about mental health and behavioral health treatment, meeting the individual where they are and walking with them on their path, and Chief Roberts operates the same way in her position. She is respected, thoughtful and values community policing and maintaining positive relationships,” she said.

Farnham noted outreach work by Roberts and her officers with children, such as touch-a-truck events, and their community policing efforts, such the National Night Out.

“Relationships between the police and our youth are integral to public safety in the realm that as relationships are built and trust is developed, we have a better chance of our youth growing to be productive and contributing positively to our society,” Roberts said in an interview. “Relationships are everything in life, and that’s one of my biggest philosophies. If we have a relationship and conversations we have a better chance of finding mutual grounds and working on positive outcomes.”

Previous recipients include former University of Maine School of Law Dean Danielle Conway and Coffee by Design co-owners Mary Allen Lindemann and Alan Spear.

“While I am being recognized as an individual, this award is to recognize all of the people who have partnered with me throughout the years to make a difference for others, I didn’t do it alone. I genuinely appreciate everybody that works in the broader picture to make life better for all,” Roberts said.

Roberts, a former lieutenant with the Portland Police Department, was sworn in as Westbrook’s police chief in 2014. She has an associate degree in law enforcement technology and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

“In general, my life focuses around helping others, and recognizing that our youth is the future of our communities and of our world,” Roberts said. “I work hard with my staff to coordinate resources around youth and their families to help them find success within their own world.”

The event to honor Chief Roberts will be held Friday, Oct. 25 at Thompson’s Point, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are available at https://spurwink.org/event/2019-humanitarian-awards/.

Comments are not available on this story.