Canton Fire Chief Jason Vaughan Submitted photo

CANTON — Selectmen agreed Thursday night to have Animal Control Officer Richard Burton submit a request for a bulletproof vest, according to Town Clerk Carol Buzzell.

Burton requested the vest and official photo identification for himself via an email, which Buzzell presented to selectmen at their meeting Thursday.

In it he said he previously asked Livermore for a vest and “an official photo ID” and they asked him to check if Canton would share the cost.

“I have found myself involved in several search and seizure warrants in the last few years,” Burton wrote. “Executing search warrants with other law enforcement agencies is dangerous. A bulletproof vest is not just to stop bullets. All of the ACOs that I know are issued vests with shock plates to stop not just bullets but dangerous dogs. A dog that is intent on killing a person does not bite a person on the leg or hand, they bite your chest and abdomen,” he wrote.

He said a vest with a plate ranges from $1,100 to $1,400 and the town should be supplying one and a photo ID.

“I supply all of my own animal handling equipment and safety equipment, that should be enough,” he wrote.

Burton also wrote that a state animal welfare law “requires towns to establish an account to be used for animal welfare and animal control. This account should have been set up years ago.”

Selectmen agreed to have him make a request but noted there is no money for a vest in this year’s budget.

In other business, selectmen agreed that Fire Chief Jason Vaughan should continue to gather information to enlist the services of an agency that assists local fire departments getting monies from insurance agencies for services the department provides.

“I learned that we can bill for services and try to recover some money,” Vaughan said about the services offered from the agency in Fairfield, Central Maine Cost Recovery.

In order to take advantage of the agency’s services to recover monies from fire and automobile accidents as well as other claims, the town will need to have a policy or ordinance in place, Vaughan said.

David Hewins, an account specialist supervisor for Central Maine Cost Recovery spoke with the selectmen via Zoom to explain how the company’s services work for some towns.

“We basically take the fire report and translate that into an invoice from your fee schedule and we submit that on your behalf to insurance companies and then we follow up religiously every two weeks until we get a payment or a denial,” Hewins said.

He also said there was no cost to the town and the agency is paid only if they collect monies from the insurance companies.

“The money comes to us and we take our 20% and cut the check to you the next month,” Hewins said.

Vaughan was asked by selectmen whether he thought they should proceed with enlisting the agency’s services.

Vaughan said he thought it was a win-win situation. “We’ve got nothing to lose except for gaining some money back,” he said.

Selectmen also discussed the $140 yearly payment for the town’s new fireproof safety deposit box, which will be used “to hold the first book of the town (history) and other important old books,” Buzzell said Friday.


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