SCARBOROUGH — The Community Outreach Program of Scarborough, held by the police department, had its first meeting on Oct. 20, and residents meet their town employees and voiced their concerns and comments.

With the first meeting at First Congregational Church of Scarborough, the program will rotate to different neighborhoods throughout the town, so that every community will get to intimately meet and talk with one another, said Police Sgt. Don Laflin.

The program lasted from 4 to 6 p.m. and began with presenters, mostly from the police department, introducing themselves and their duties and personal projects. Later the floor opened up for residents to ask questions.

Each speaker had the chance to talk about his or her concerns about what is currently happening in the town, like traffic problems, recreational demands and future opportunities for community engagement.

“The intention of the program is for us as a town to reach out to the different communities,” said Don Laflin. “We’re represented here by the police department, fire department, public works and recreations.”

Assistant Town Manager Larissa Crockett said that Scarborough was working on ways to make community outreach and engagement easier, like a new website that should be completed later this year.

“I am delighted of the idea of anything that’s an opportunity to engage with our residents,” said Crockett. “One of the things that makes Scarborough unique is when you call our town, no matter which department you’re calling, an actual human answers the phone. That’s unique and rare — especially in a town that has over 20,000 residents.”

Police Officer Sarah Fasulo said that traffic was an issue that concerned her.

“We’re a big traffic town, lots of speeding, red light issues,” she said. “We get a lot of complaints around town. I just want to point out that if you notice a problem area in town, just call the dispatch line and it will be passed to us.”

One resident, Jennifer Laflin, said that she thought that it’s important for people to have a place to be seen and heard.

She added that she’s thankful the town would take the time to do this kind of event.

“It’s a Sunday evening,” she said. “These people should be at home with their families, but they’re out here listening to us.”

Jennifer Laflin asked the presenters about emergency service staff, as Scarborough continues to grow, how will the town keep up with emergencies?

Fire Chief Michael Thurlow said that with unemployment rates currently under 3 percent, the town had a small pool of candidates, so hiring will be a challenge for the future.

How officers dealt with trauma and hard cases was also a concern for Jennifer Laflin.

Crockett said that a new hypo-allergenic puppy would be living at the police department full-time, to give officers a moment to relax and lift spirits.

The last half hour of the meeting was dedicated to the police department demonstrating a drone to the small group of residents.

Don Laflin said that these meetings would be kept small in order to accommodate all questions from the public.

Catherine Bart can be reached at [email protected] or 780-9029.

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