To all Franklin County Citizens,

In keeping with tradition I am pleased to present to you this review of Sheriff’s Office activities during

2015. Probably the biggest announcement of the year was the reopening of our jail. To refresh your

memories, for many years during the jail consolidation our jail was shut down and turned into a 72 hour

holding facility. Simply, our prisoners did not stay in Franklin County they were shipped off to other

facilities all over the state. This did not save taxpayers in Franklin County any money; they were still

required to appropriate the same amount of money each year, 1.6 million to pay for our “participation”

in the consolidation. What many people did not know is that over 600,000 dollars of that money was

sent to the state “system” that used those funds to help fund the operation of other counties jails in the

state. A majority of that money did not support Franklin County prisoners. That presented a myriad of

problems too numerous to write about here; let’s just say that today that same amount of money

appropriated is now dedicated solely to the operations of our own jail.

Now that we are operating as our own entity, we are the model on how to manage a small county jail

professionally and efficiently. We are providing not only the mandated programs required by the state,

but also additional programs designed to reduce recidivism.

This year we also hosted a 5 week Basic Corrections School. During the school we not only had students

from Franklin County but also Oxford and Androscoggin Counties. They received more realistic training

than they would have received in an academy setting merely because they were able to conduct “hands

on training” in a real jail system instead of listening to a lecture or watching a power point presentation.

Somerset County also collaborated with us during this training by providing instructors as well as a

different facility to train in; this gave students an appreciation for working in a large jail and a small jail.

All of this, as well as having excellent supervisors have created a very professional correction staff that

run a tight ship. When we have openings, we receive interest from all over the state to come work here.

The law enforcement side continues to provide outstanding service to our citizens. They are very

responsive and professional. Their main priorities continue to be the protection of our citizen’s personal

safety and their property. We continue to patrol and maintain high visibility in the rural areas of the

county. Deputies also support other law enforcement agencies within the county by providing training,

investigative support and criminal intelligence. We continue with the Elder Check program which has

been wildly successful and has provided comfort to the seniors who participate as well as our building

check program which provides oversight on unoccupied residences. Our Deputies also hosted our 2nd

Citizens Police Academy this year (this time in New Sharon). For eight weeks, people learned about their

Sheriff’s Office and how we conduct operations. For many it was an eye opener to find out what really

goes on in our county.

In an effort to get the biggest bang for the buck our patrol division continues to provide additional

patrols through the use of federal and state grants. These grants involve OUI patrols, extra patrols in

the north to assist Border Patrol and seatbelt patrol enforcement. Another new development for this

year is the K-9 training that members of the Sheriff’s Office are now providing to other agencies within

the state. Our Academy certified K-9 instructors are providing not only dog team training on a weekly

basis to certify new teams, but they are also involved with creating new K-9 instructors.

Our Criminal Investigation Division team of investigators are busy all the time investigation and solving

sex crimes, burglaries and drug crimes. I wish I could give you more detail about the amount of work

our drug investigators are involved with, however given the nature of the business, let’s just say that our

investigators not only are charging violators here in our county but also provide a lot of information to

other agencies that allows them to make arrests in their counties. Our investigators can always use your

help though, please feel free to leave us an anonymous tip on our FRANKTIP line. Our “Frank Tip”

program has been very successive in providing information that helps to clarify information received

from ongoing investigations. We encourage people to continue to contact us regarding any criminal

activity. Frank tip can be reached by texting 274637 (crimes) on their smart phones include FRANKTIP

with the tip information and it should go through.

The only negative thing that can be said about 2015 was the loss of a friend to the Sheriff’s Office. Long

time Commissioner Fred Hardy passed away. I considered Fred to be a friend and ally who was easy to

talk to and had a wealth of knowledge that he was always happy to pass on.

In conclusion I want to thank Commissioners Gary McGrane, Clyde Barker and new commissioner

Charlie Webster and the staff at the Commissioner’s office including the Emergency Management staff

for their support throughout the year. I would also like to thank all the Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, and

their staff as well as the Troopers, Border Patrol agents and the staff of the Franklin County

Communications center who work very hard to protect and serve our communities. We at the Sheriff’s

office look forward to serving you in 2016.

 

Respectfully

Sheriff Scott R. Nichols Sr.


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