OXFORD — An Oxford detective sergeant has been promoted to a lieutenant following approval by the Board of Selectmen on Thursday.
Mike Ward said the promotion will allow him to attend training sessions with Chief Jon Tibbetts, which include instruction on administrative duties. Ward said he will continue to assist with daily operations and detective work in the new position.
Ward said his goal is to become a police chief, but he will not actively look for an opening in that position. He said he and other full-time officers and employees at the department are Oxford natives, and he would like to stay local.
"We have a vested interest in the community," Ward said. "Not only do we work for them, but they're our neighbors, too."
Ward began working in law enforcement in 1987. As part of a training regimen, he served six months each as a corrections officer, dispatcher and reserve officer with the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office. In 1988, he began serving as a full-time deputy with the department, acting as the contract deputy for Poland between 1988 and 1990.
From 1998 to 2003, Ward was a sergeant with the Mechanic Falls Police Department. He took some time off after that service to work as a manager at the Poland Spring Hotel.
Ward returned to police work in 2005, acting as a reserve officer with both the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office and Oxford Police Department. He began working as a patrol officer with the Oxford Police Department in 2006, became the chief deputy of the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office, and returned to Oxford in January 2009 to become a detective sergeant.
Ward said the department has been without a lieutenant since Tibbetts replaced Ron Kugell, a volunteer police chief, upon Kugell's retirement in 2006.
"The nice thing about this is I've been doing this over 20 years, and I still look forward to coming into work every day," Ward said.