Freeport Chief of Police Nate Goodman standing next to a police cruiser on Wednesday. C. Thacher Carter / The Times Record

Nathaniel Goodman was sworn in as Freeport’s newest police chief on Tuesday.

Goodman, 48, of Durham has been with the Freeport Police Department for about 24 years, 15 of which were in supervisory roles. In January 2021, Goodman was appointed as the interim chief of police after former Chief Susan Nourse, retired.

According to Town Manager Peter Joseph, Goodman was selected out of six other applicants from outside the department. The town council unanimously approved Goodman’s appointment.

“Nate has a set of strengths that’s really good for the time that we are in right now,” Joseph said. “It became really apparent over the last year. His ability to talk to people, to listen to people and to have some rational explanation and calm discussion, it’s really done a lot I think the past year.”

Members of the council agreed, all of whom spoke favorably of Goodman taking on the role.

In an interview Wednesday, Goodman said that one of his objectives as chief will be focusing on community engagement with the department, something he believes his predecessors did a good job with.

“I don’t view our officers and our staff here to be any different than the citizens we serve,” Goodman said. “So, we encourage the officers to spend time with community groups, interacting with just a wide cross-section of the community to try to bridge any gaps that may be there, or listen to people’s concerns about police and what we do.”

Freeport Chief of Police Nate Goodman being sworn in at Tuesday’s council meeting. Courtesy of Peter Joseph

In June 2021, The Forecaster reported that Freeport enacted a Police Advisory Committee with the goal of improving communication between police and residents and increasing transparency and accountability.

The committee’s formation in Freeport came after the death of George Floyd, a Black man murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020. The killing sparked nationwide protests, calls for police reform and a deeper investigation into racial bias among law enforcement.

Goodman said that he supports the new committee and that in 2020 he worked with an earlier group to sift through Freeport’s police procedures and look for any inconsistencies or bias in the handbook.

“For the most part, I did a lot of listening. Which I think is important,” Goodman said. “I don’t think there should be any secrets between the police and the public. I think we should really be kind of an open book as to what we do. So, overall, it was really a good experience.”

The need for more accessible mental health services in Freeport and statewide is another issue that Goodman said he sees, and he plans to look for resources to better equip officers and to help those struggling with mental health crises.

“I see a real need in the community for real and intentional intervention and assistance for people dealing with mental health crisis,” Goodman said, noting that officers are going on dozens of calls a week that involve a mental health component. “We as a community, we need to find a way to better assist officers who are dealing with a lot of these mental health calls.”

Born in Brunswick and raised in the area, Goodman said his interest in law enforcement began as a child. In total, he has 27 years in law enforcement.

His annual salary will be $96,000.

Before joining the Freeport Police Department, where he has served as sergeant and lieutenant, Goodman worked for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Auburn Police Department.


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