Sergeant named Farmington PD employee of the year

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FARMINGTON — The sergeant whose hunch led to an arrest last year in the case of a fatal stabbing was named the 2011 Employee of the Year for the Farmington Police Department.

Sgt. Michael Adcock’s police work was commendable, and contributed immensely to the mission of the department, Chief Jack Peck said.

He noted the case of Grace Burton, 81, who was stabbed 35 times by a person who entered her apartment in the early-morning hours of June 21. Burton died later that morning.

“The case went unsolved for months and put a severe strain on our police department and created major fear in the community,” Peck wrote in a letter to Adcock.

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In July, Adcock assisted an ambulance crew when Juan Contreras crashed his bicycle in Farmington. Talking with Contreras, Adcock learned that he had moved here from Massachusetts and had lived near the Burton residence but was soon returning to Massachusetts.

Adcock, on a hunch, told Maine State Police detectives about the encounter. They found Contreras and obtained a DNA sample in November. The sample matched DNA taken from the scene. Police arrested Contreras on a charge of murder the following day.

“The arrest of Contreras brought some closure and hopefully gave the community a renewed sense of safety in their homes,” Peck said.

He selected Detective Marc Bowering as the department’s Employee of the Quarter for the spring of 2011, based on his work on a robbery of the Big Apple Store on the Farmington Falls Road in December 2010.

From January through March, Bowering worked relentlessly, Peck said. The investigation resulted in two arrests.

Peck wrote to Bowering, “You are a valuable resource to the community and local law enforcement agencies with your in-depth knowledge of criminal investigations, current and emerging drug trends and interview techniques.

“Your unselfish dedication to your chosen law enforcement profession, willingness to work in harmony with others and sharing your knowledge and skills while providing a leadership role for others to follow helps the Farmington Police Department meet its mission: to create a feeling of safety for the people within the Town of Farmington.”

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