PARIS — Representatives of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office met recently with the Saco River Council, the Brownfield Board of Selectmen and local business owners and landowners to discuss ways to increase police presence along the Saco River.
Chief Deputy Chris Wainwright on Tuesday told Oxford County Commissioners of the meeting, adding that representatives of the Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service were also at the gathering.
In February, Brownfield Selectman Bill Flynn told Sheriff James Theriault that the Saco River Recreation Council would likely file a request for patrol coverage in the summer due to the increased amount of activity on the river.
“The Saco River has been a battle for as long as it’s been around,” Wainwright told the commissioners Tuesday. “As long as they’ve had sun, alcohol and canoes, there have been problems.”
Wainwright said that during the summer, the sheriff’s department would provide two deputies for four hours every Saturday and Sunday in the area near the Saco River.
“We figured that’s a good presence to start off,” Wainwright said. “The state police and the Maine Warden Service both agreed to provide additional personnel.”
The patrols, which amount to about 96 man hours for the summer, will be funded by $3,000 raised by the Brownfield Board of Selectmen, Saco River Council and a private landowner.
Wainwright said that representatives of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office would meet with state police and wardens after two weekends to assess how the patrols are going.