JAY – A people-person at heart, Drew Hufnagel, a former self-employed general contractor turned law enforcement agent, is the Jay Police Department’s new detective.
Hufnagel, 34, of Farmington had long wanted to be in law enforcement and in 1999, got a chance to work as a corrections officer at a state penitentiary in Delaware.
From there, the New Jersey native and his wife Christine, a social worker, decided Maine would be a good place to raise a family.
They moved to Farmington and Hufnagel got a job with Sugarloaf Security/Carrabasett Police Department and as a reserve officer for the Farmington Police Department before he was hired full time for the latter department.
He took a break from police work for 18 months due to shift work and wanting to spend more time with his wife of seven years and their two children, Maggie, 5, and Connor, 2. During that time, he worked for Community Concepts Housing Department.
Now he’s back in the line of duty.
“I always wanted to be in law enforcement ever since I can remember,” Hufnagel said. “The local police department in my hometown in New Jersey was very community-oriented. We knew a lot of the officers and a lot of my friends are in law enforcement. I do enjoy helping people. I am a people person. I do get great satisfaction out of assisting people in need of help.”
“Drew comes to the department as an experienced officer for the Farmington Police Department,” Jay police Chief Larry White Sr. said.
Scott MacMaster, a sergeant with the Greenville Police Department who was initially hired as detective here, decided to stay with Greenville to try for the chief’s position there, White said.
“Drew is another candidate who will do well as our investigator filling the detective slot,” White said.
Hufnagel was one of the initial candidates vying for the job. White said at the time when they were interviewing for the job that all of the candidates were well qualified to handle the position.
“He is very people oriented and will fit with our community police philosophy,” the chief said.
Hufnagel will take over the Neighborhood Watch Program at the senior citizen complex on LaVoie Street and teach some of the department’s full-time and reserve officers.
“I look forward to working very closely with Detective Hufnagel,” White said. “I believe he is going to a very good fit with our organization. He seems to be already in tune with our needs and direction in which the administration is leading this department.”
Hufnagel is earning $18.56 an hour as detective.
Criminal investigation is the best part of law enforcement, Hufnagel said..
“You really get the opportunity to use all the knowledge and training that you received over the course of your career,” he said. “A criminal investigation is kind of like a psychological chess game and it’s exciting to formulate a plan, follow the plan and have it develop into a successful outcome.”