RUMFORD — After 32 years with the Rumford Police Department, Sgt. Doug Maifeld signed off Saturday from his job as a full-time officer.

RSU 10 school resource officer Doug Maifeld poses at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. The 32-year veteran of the Rumford Police Department began his duties Monday. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

His retirement, though, lasted one day.

On Monday morning, the 54-year-old began his new job as a part-time school resource officer for Regional School Unit 10.

As he drove to work for his last shift before retirement, the reality of the change hit him, he said.

“I was thinking about it too much, and I had to stop myself because I was starting to get a little choked up,” he said. “I have mixed feelings. I’m happy for my new adventure, but I’ll still miss the old adventure.”

One aspect of his career as a police officer that will continue is instructor for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, teaching students the dangers of substance abuse and how to avoid them.

“I love what I do,” Maifeld said. “Being in the schools for 27 years allowed me to have a 32-year career. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it as much had I not had that.”

As school resource officer he’ll work 29 hours per week without benefits and be based at the high school. He said he’s already realized it will eventually need to be a 40 hours.

The job covers the high school, Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico, Meroby Elementary School in Mexico and Rumford Elementary School in Rumford.

“If it was 29 hours just for the high school, it would probably be enough,” Maifeld said. “But to get the two elementary schools and the middle school involved, it definitely needs to be a 40-hour-per-week job.”

His plan is to be around during school hours four days a week and teach the DARE program to fifth-graders at the middle school Wednesdays until mid-March.

“Until I get somebody trained, I’m going to keep that program going as long as physically possible, Maifeld said. “I just think it’s a rewarding program. It’s great for the community. I just don’t want to see it go by the wayside.”

And he sees the value of staying connected to those students as they move to the high school.

“I like that I’ll be able to help them progress further in their own lives, hopefully,” he said.

“This doesn’t feel that much different to me,” he said. “It’s a continuation, other than not having to go out and answer calls all the time, and not having to work nights. I’m not working nights no more!”

He said his approach is to be proactive, not reactive.

“I don’t have a summons book in my back pocket, waiting to write someone a ticket,” Maifeld said. “I’m not here to bust kids. I’m here to be a resource for them. To be able to have someone else they can come to. If they’re having problems with being bullied, being harassed, or just need someone to talk to, I want to be that person.”

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