RUMFORD — People who noticed a heavier-than-usual police presence in Rumford on Wednesday night can rest easy knowing that it was a proactive effort to reduce crime in high-volume call areas.

Police Chief Stacy Carter said Thursday morning that his department conducted a community policing detail coordinating with Maine State Police; the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Central Maine Violent Crime Task Force.

Fourteen officers from four departments handed out nearly 500 fliers and spoke with hundreds of residents about Rumford’s new initiative, which is modeled on Lewiston’s successful Operation Hot Spot program that began in May 2012. Rumford’s program will begin this summer.

“The detail was considered a huge success, with many positive comments and feedback from the community,” Carter said. “We look forward to moving forward with future details and community meetings.”

He said Lewiston’s program has been so successful that it pushed some of the criminal elements into towns such as Rumford. The crime-reduction strategy targets specific high-crime areas with increased law enforcement resources and follows through with aggressive prosecution of violators.

The fliers invite people to an informational meeting and panel discussion at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, in Rumford Falls Auditorium at 145 Congress St.

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The chief previously said his department needs input from townspeople and direction as to what they’d like to see from police to reduce crime and set up programs to help young people affected by living conditions, increased crime and increasing drug addictions.

Carter said police in Lewiston and Augusta conducted the same details on Wednesday in their high-crime neighborhoods.

Those with questions about the program are asked to contact the Rumford Police Department at 364-3449.

[email protected]


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