Guy Desjardins to be inaugurated

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AUBURN – Androscoggin County plans to swear-in new sheriff Guy Desjardins Thursday in an inauguration ceremony.

A judge, speakers and two color guards are scheduled to be part of the planned hour-long ceremony at Kirk Hall on the campus of Central Maine Community College in Auburn. The 6:30 p.m. event is free and open to the public.

“I’m excited,” Desjardins said. “Excited and proud.”

The event, the first inauguration of an Androscoggin County sheriff in recent memory, was the idea of the deputies.

The notion touched the new sheriff, who was finishing work in the West Bath District Court as the plans came together.

“They said, ‘We’re going to do it for you,'” Desjardins said.

The Auburn event will cost taxpayers almost nothing.

Employee fees will pay for most expenses. The school is donating the hall, and local entertainer Nick Knowlton plans to donate his time as emcee, said Capt. John Lebel, administrator of the county jail.

Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion and County Commission Chairman Elmer Berry are scheduled to speak.

Desjardins will also make a speech. He began working on his remarks a week ago.

Meanwhile, he has already started working on the job.

Though the inauguration won’t happen until Thursday evening, he became sheriff with the start of the new year.

His first duty: to attend Monday’s inauguration of York County Sheriff Maurice Ouellette.

Desjardins started his first day by signaling county dispatch by radio. And he almost made a mistake, he said.

He nearly identified himself to the radio dispatcher as Unit Two. That’s the designation given to the chief deputy, the job he held for 11 years.

At the last moment, Desjardins caught himself.

Unit One signed on.

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