Maine State Police recognizes four Rumford policemen for work on 2009 double homicide

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RUMFORD — Four Rumford police officers were recognized recently by Maine State Police for their work on a double homicide in 2009.

Chief Stacy Carter, Capt. Daniel Garbarini, Detective Sgt. James Bernard and Sgt. Tracey Higley received framed Letters of Recognition from state police Lt. Brian T. McDonough.

Reading from one of the awards, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said at Thursday night’s selectmen’s meeting that Rumford police responded to an incident Aug. 3, 2009, to find Victor Sheldon and Roger Day shot to death.

“The efforts and long hours put in by the Rumford Police Department in the investigation were an enormous asset to the State Police Major Crimes Unit, leading to the eventual identification of suspects and the apprehension of those responsible for committing these crimes,” Puiia said.

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“It is acknowledged that the Rumford Police Department’s handling of the initial crime scene was textbook, along with the preservation of potential evidence.

“They are also credited with locating witnesses and suspects, providing scene security, and assisting state police detectives with interviews,” Puiia said.

“It was through teamwork and dedication that the incident was resolved with the arrests and convictions of Richard Moulton, Eric Hamel and Gayle Sheldon for crimes related to these murders, including the charge of murder and the solicitation of murder. Acts such as this brings credit to you and the entire police department.”

Puiia said such recognition “speaks volumes of the professionalism that we have right here in the town of Rumford.”

“Viewed from the outside by the Maine State Police how professional they are, I hope that our citizens recognize how fortunate we are,” he said.

During the investigation, Puiia said Carter kept him appraised of the investigation every step of the way.

“It just speaks volumes about how fortunate we are in this town to have the dedicated personnel we have now,” he said.

Puiia called forward each of the officers and Carter, so selectmen could present each with the Letters of Recognition.

“I, with pride, accept this on behalf of the whole department,” Carter said afterward. He stressed that the whole department “also responded and did a great job,” as did state police.

“I’ve never seen a case have so much resources devoted to it,” he said. “That speaks volumes for them and for our department, all for a common goal, and that’s due diligence.”

Carter, Garbarini, Bernard and Higley then received a standing ovation from the board, Puiia, and the audience.

In other business, selectmen voted 4-0 to:

* Add two parking spaces to the corner of Hartford and Lowell streets.

* Hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. April 5 on a Community Development Block Grant program application of $300,000.

* Lift the winter parking ban unless a plowable snowstorm ensues.

* Apply for recognition as the Governor’s 2012 Business Friendly Community.

* Appoint Jesse Heath and Jim Thibodeau to the Comprehensive Plan Committee.

* Approve sending a letter of support to the Maine Department of Transportation in its bid to seek a grant to replace the Martin Memorial Bridge over the Androscoggin River.

Selectman Brad Adley was absent.

Selectmen held two executive sessions to consider an economic development matter and ongoing union negotiations.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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