POLAND — A question to increase police coverage to 24 hours a day, seven days a week will be on next April’s town meeting warrant.

Selectpersons unanimously supported the question Tuesday night after listening to a group of Megquier Hill Road residents tell of speeders and other dangerous drivers. The road runs between King Street in Oxford and Route 11 in Poland.

The residents spoke of having to pull children out of the way of speeding cars. They also told of cars hitting pets, of drivers playing “chicken” with walkers or blasting their horns at pedestrians and of impolite motorists making obscene hand gestures when asked to slow down.

“It’s a serious problem” everywhere, said Dr. Fred Jordan, a resident and one of the state’s deputy chief medical examiners. “It is so dangerous. There is a lot of hostility. There is a lot of anger. It’s insane, absolutely insane.”

Jordan said he once told a worker who had come to his house: “Whatever you do, do not back out of the driveway. It’s like signing a death warrant.”

Terry Pomerleau said she has walked Megquier Hill Road for more than 16 years, and to walk it now is extremely dangerous.

Pomerleau said there is some “real aggression” on the state road, which has a speed limit of 35 mph.

“We’re tired of it not being safe,” Pomerleau said.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Jason Winslow said he cannot let his three sons near the road.

He told of the time he was walking with one of the boys when a car kept coming at them.

Winslow said he dove into the ditch and threw his son into the bushes.

“I saved my son’s life,” Winslow added.  “That is not an exaggeration.”

Richard Wright said his dog was hit and killed by a driver who drove off without stopping.

And Bob Wall said the town should be concerned about the heavy traffic in the cemetery across from his house late at night.

Currently, police coverage in Poland runs from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

If police are required after 11 p.m., that typically falls onto the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office, the Mechanic Falls Police Department or other departments.

The budget for two sheriff’s deputies is $233,900.

Selectpersons learned Tuesday it would cost another $179,000 to add two deputies to create 24-hour coverage for seven days a week, bringing the total cost to $413,000.

Town Manager Matthew Garside said the increase would mean an $11 hike in annual taxes on property valued at $150,000.

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