Interim Lisbon police Chief Ryan McGee is sworn in as police chief for the town by Town Clerk Twila Lycette on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Lisbon Police Department

LISBON — Lisbon has hired its interim police chief and longtime department member Ryan McGee to serve as its next chief of police.

McGee, who has been with Lisbon Police Department for nearly 19 years, was appointed interim police chief when former Chief Marc Hagan left in September to head Topsham’s police department.

McGee, 41, worked as a reserve officer in Mechanic Falls for a year before he was hired at Lisbon Police Department fulltime in 2002. In 2015, he was promoted to sergeant, followed by a promotion to lieutenant four years later.

“I do really care about what goes on and what we’re doing as a department,” he said Friday.

McGee stressed that police officers need to have the highest of integrity and must treat every person with compassion. Police are called to help so if an officer finds a person suffering from substance abuse, that means getting the treatment at the hospital and reaching out to their family, he said.

“It’s so important to treat everybody respectfully because you don’t know what they’re going through,” McGee said. “You don’t know their life story, or if they just had a medical issue or a death in the family. It’s not for us to judge.”

McGee said Lisbon is fortunate to have a police department that takes pride in who it hires. McGee said the police department must continue investing in its officers with training and supervision, as well.

Ryan McGee, hired as a Lisbon police officer almost 19 years ago, was sworn in as Lisbon’s Chief of Police last week. Photo courtesy of Lisbon Police Department

As chief, McGee hopes to bring back the Citizens’ Police Academy, which allows community members to learn more about the police department. He also wants to continue community policing, starting with a class to teach senior citizens how to avoid scams.

The law enforcement profession has been under national scrutiny nationwide protests following instances of police brutality and racism. The Black Lives Matter movement sprouted earlier this year after police killings of Black Americans, including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.

McGee welcomed discussions that stem from the BLM movement and said the Lisbon Police Department has an open-door policy.

“We are just as upset when we see bad things happen across the country, and it’s so important that those people are held accountable,” McGee said. “In our agency, we hold officers to the highest standards. We have really good relations with all of the community.”

McGee said he looks forward to a future where issues of racism and bias get improve, and said he believes that will happen with talks and time.

“Every day we need to continue to do better,” he said. “It’s important to hire the right people. It’s continually investing in them, training them, and holding them accountable.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.