Lt. Derek MacDonald of Peru, right, is welcomed back to the Mexico Police Department on Friday by Chief Roy Hodsdon. MacDonald recently resigned from the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office after serving the past six years as a deputy. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Derek MacDonald of Peru returned to duty Friday with the Police Department, this time as a lieutenant.

“I couldn’t wait to get him started and get him to work with us again,” Chief Roy Hodsdon said. “It wasn’t like he was someone new walking through the door. It was more like coming home because he’s worked here before.”

“He’s local and he’s well respected amongst his peers,” the chief said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things and congratulations with getting him onboard. I’m very excited.”

MacDonald recently resigned from the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office after serving as a deputy for six years. He previously worked as a Mexico police officer.

“This was just a better fit for my family,” MacDonald said. “I’d be home more often and there would be less stress on my wife so that she can go back to work.

“Working for the county, you work a week of days and a week of nights,” he said. “We have a 3-week-old and a 2-year-old, so it’s really tough for her to put them in bed at night because you put one to bed and the other one is waking the other one up. I can be home at night and help her put the kids to bed.”

Hodsdon said one reason he selected MacDonald for the lieutenant’s position was his knowledge and his experience as a deputy working alone a lot and having to solve problems.

“It’s a great opportunity to further his career, stepping up as a lieutenant,” the chief said.

MacDonald said there are “some different skills that I’m going to have to learn. This will be the first time I’ll be supervising people and people are going to be coming to me for answers. It’s just going to be a lot different than what I’m used to.”

He said he’s been learning leadership skills through reading books and watching podcasts.

“Leadership is a skill that if you don’t use it, you lose it,” he said.

Hodsdon said he noticed MacDonald also has the ability to control a scene. “If you don’t have that, you’re going to be in trouble,” he said

“He’s very well rounded,” the chief said. “He’s good at traffic and thorough with investigations. He has compassion to do this. I see a lot of what I was in him from when I first started. He fits in well here.”

The new officer also brings much needed relief to Hodsdon, who said he’s been working 80 hours a week since June. Saturday and Sunday were his first two days off since June, he said.

Following the departures of Lt. Matt Desroches and Patrolman Nick Young, the department was left with Hodsdon and officers Robert Drouin and Dustin Broughton. There is still one opening, which Hodsdon said he hopes to fill in the near future.

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