MEXICO – Police officers from several departments recently visited the State House this week to testify on a bill to allow youths in the Police Explorer program to assist with traffic control at civic events.

Mexico police Lt. Roy Hodsdon said the Police Explorer program was shut down from doing traffic details at civic events by the Department of Labor.

“That hampered my whole Explorer program,” he said. “The Explorers used to do traffic control for different community and civil events, whether it was parking for basketball games or funerals, but the Department of Labor said ‘No more,’ and shut it down.”

Hodsdon said he was contacted by officer Joe Giacomantonio of the Scarborough Police Department, who is in charge of that department’s Police Explorer program.

“He told me to reach out to our representatives for support, so I reached out to Sheryl Briggs and told her about the situation,” Hodsdon said. “She did some research and acted as a liaison between the Explorer program and the Department of Labor.”

Rep. Briggs, D-Mexico, drafted LD 605, which would allow a minor in the Police Explorer program to assist with traffic control at civic events.

“I’m pretty positive that we’ll get the law passed,” Hodsdon said. “We have the support of Chief Stacy Carter of the Rumford police, Chief Richard Pickett in Dixfield, the River Valley Healthy Coalition, MedCare (ambulance service) and the Andover Old Home (Days committee), which we’ve done traffic control for in the past.”

Hodsdon added that they received the support of the Scarborough and Saco Police departments.

“Chief Theriault and I went to the state capital to give testimony to the bill,” Hodsdon said. “Sheriff Kevin Joyce of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department also spoke up in favor of the bill.”

Legislators hearing testimony on the bill were impressed with the support and professionalism of the Police Explorers, according to Hodsdon. He said the bill will be considered in coming weeks.

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