FARMINGTON — Deputy Alan “A.J.” Elmes, Jr., 24, of Rangeley is one of the newest additions to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office roster.

Franklin County Deputy Alan “A.J.” Emles, Jr. Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear

“I know it is cliche’ but I decided on this line of work because I want to help people and I want to make a difference,” Elmes said.

He graduated from Rangeley Lakes Regional School before attending Florida Southwestern State College. In 2017, he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and returned to Rangeley.

Elmes was hired by the sheriff’s department in January 2018 and was promptly sent to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy for 18-weeks of training. He graduated from the academy’s  Basic Law Enforcement Training Program in May 2018.

“I really like working with kids,” Elmes said when asked what the best experience thus far has been. “Seeing the look on their faces when I turn on all the patrol car lights or having their attention when I talk about what I do reminds me of why I do this job.”

Elmes said it is especially fulfilling to interact with people in his hometown.

“Rangeley is such a small community,” he said. “Everyone knew me before I went into law enforcement, including the kids.”

On the flip side, he said his worst experience is the tragedy of the job.

“It’s all the inevitable stuff you can’t change,” he said. “I think it is that way for anyone in this line of work. You get into the job to make a difference but there are things you can’t avoid.”

During his personal time, Elmes enjoys recreating outdoors. “I do a lot of snowmobiling in the winter but I appreciate just about any outdoor activity,” he said.

His goals, both professional and personal, are equal.

“At the end of 25 years, I want to know I have made a difference and earned the respect of community members,” he said when asked about his professional goal.

His personal life goal echoes that desire. “Personally, I really just want to feel I’ve made a difference in my lifetime,” he added.

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