James Minkowsky likes to know that you’re safe. He values your well-being so much, in fact, that he’s dedicated his entire life to it.

His protection comes in many forms.

Minkowsky has worked as a beat cop, protecting you and your family from bad guys on the street. He’s worked as an investigator with the Department of Health and Human Services, helping children who have been abused and putting away the people who hurt them.

A former detective, he’s an expert in the polygraph: If a criminal bends, twists or breaks the truth, Minkowsky will probably know it.

He also has a career with the military – a Navy man – and is currently on a mission he cannot talk about.

Lewiston’s deputy police chief, the 42-year-old Minkowsky recently took a leave of absence to serve a tour of duty in Iraq. He’s been gone since fall and we’re not sure where he is. He did, however, surface long enough for us to fling a few questions at him. This is what he could tell us.

What motivates you to spend so much time protecting others?

Die-hard patriot. Respect for our Constitution as written, and belief in the American way of life and what our founding fathers envisioned for us. And, a firm conviction for standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

What’s your police background? Started my 22nd year, the day I left for deployment. Served in the patrol division prior to being assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division working with DHHS Child Protective investigating child abuse and neglect cases as well as domestic violence. Promoted to sergeant in the patrol division. Assigned to CID as detective sergeant supervising the Youth and Family Services Unit. While in CID, served as an internal affairs investigator, civil rights officer and polygraph examiner – 11 years as a Maine licensed examiner. Promoted to lieutenant and served as watch commander for the night watch and morning watch. Currently deputy chief. Associate’s degree in criminal justice and bachelor’s in administration. Graduate of the FBI National Academy. Working on my master’s degree.

What’s your military background? United States Navy. Rank:master at arms. Security Forces. Was stationed at Naval Air Station Brunswick till its closing. Currently assigned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Where are you right now? Currently stateside completing pre-deployment training. Leaving for Iraq soon. Mission and location restricted.

What was the toughest thing about leaving home? Hands down, leaving my children, girlfriend and family. And winter in Maine!

When will you be back? Sometime early 2012. Possibly sooner, but I’m not counting on what I can’t control.

What’s better: “CSI” or “Law & Order”? Have not watched TV in nearly two months. Both are good, but “Law & Order” is a longtime favorite.

Does being a polygraph examiner help ferret out liars in the real world? I would call that inconclusive.


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