FARMINGTON — Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. promoted Deputy David Rackliffe to patrol lieutenant Tuesday at the Franklin County Commission meeting.
Rackliffe, 45, of Weld, has worked full time as a deputy for nine years. Prior to that, he worked as a reserve deputy. He is K-9 handler and will continue to do that service for the county with his dog, Justice.
Commissioners previously approved Nichols' request to have a second lieutenant. Two positions were eliminated to pay for the new position.
Nichols told commissioners Tuesday that Farmington police Chief Jack Peck, Jay police Chief Larry White Sr. and University of Maine at Farmington police Chief Ted Blais helped him during the interview process, he said.
There were four in-house candidates.
Commissioners voted to accept Nichols' recommendation to promote Rackliffe to lieutenant and to pay him $19.67 an hour. It is a 40-hour-a-week salaried job.
Rackliffe will come out of the deputies' bargaining unit.
Nichols said police chiefs in the area said it was important that the county maintain three trained police dogs and handlers. The county has three K-9 units: Rackliffe and Justice, Cpl. Nate Bean and Diesel and Deputy Chris Chase and Abbie.
Nichols said the Sheriff's Department handlers and dogs support not only Franklin County but also other counties when they are needed.
Rackliffe attended the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in 2004. He was elected president of his class and came in first in the class in academics.
After the meeting at the Sheriff's Department, Rackliffe said he was looking forward to his new duties.
“It's going to be a lot of work," he said. "I'm looking forward to the challenges and I'm looking forward to making some positive changes.”
He owns and operates Von Woden Kennels in Weld, where he trains German shepherd police dogs. Rackliffe is also an assistant trainer for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro and specializes in helping to train troubled dogs outside law enforcement.
Prior to becoming a deputy, Rackliffe was an emergency medical services paramedic from 1996 until 2003. He focused on business administration and management in his education, including two years of college.
“Supervision and management is not new to me and I'm hoping I can use those skills to make it a more efficient and fun place to work,” Rackliffe said.