PARIS — Sheriff Christopher Wainwright is seeking a second term as head of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, defending his position against longtime deputy and Independent candidate Justin Brown of Hartford in the Nov. 8 election.

Christopher Wainwright

Wainwright, 51, a Republican who lives in Canton, is a graduate of Dirigo High School in Dixfield, the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and Central Maine Community College in Auburn with an associate degree in criminal justice.

He served in the U.S Army from 1988-96 and from 2001 to the present. He is an Iraq War veteran.

Wainwright earned the National Sheriffs’ Association Medal for Valor and twice was awarded the Maine Sheriffs’ Association Presidential Award for Valor.

Married to Erin for more than 25 years, they have raised three children. He is active in Operation Reboot Outdoors, which offers hunting and fishing trips to veterans at no cost.

Brown, 44, has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for more than 22 years and has served as lieutenant of the Criminal Investigation Division. He has received extensive management/leadership training from the FBI and has been assigned to the Violent Crime Task Force. A graduate of Unity College, Brown has a fiancee and one son. He belongs to the Freemasons and the Webb River Valley Sportsman Club.


Justin Brown

Why are you seeking reelection for Oxford County sheriff?

Wainwright: I started working for the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office when I was 19 years old, and I have held every rank. I care deeply about the integrity, reputation and perception of the agency. During my first term, we restored the trust and confidence of the Sheriff’s Office. On my first day, we updated the HR policy and procedure manuals that had been ignored for over 12 years. We improved our visibility and relationships within the communities, with other law enforcement agencies, and with mental health service centers as well. I am proud of the professional improvements we have made as well as the positive momentum we have as an agency.

Brown: I am running for sheriff to restore the public’s faith and trust in the department and to rebuild morale within the department. Transparency, as well as fair and equal accountability, are key to achieving these goals. By building morale, the turnover rate will decrease, saving taxpayers money. I would ensure we are current with training and regulations, promoting improvement of our deputies and working with other emergency services to provide a better public service.

What is the biggest challenge facing the county, and how would you solve it?

Wainwright: The heroin epidemic and court system backlog are the two biggest challenges we face. Our agency has developed stronger relationships with Oxford County Mental Health Services and their Crisis Response Team. We are starting a pilot program in our jail designed to facilitate those leaving our facility with the support, medication and services they need for their recovery journey.

The backlog of pending cases in the court system too often results in decisions crafted to resolve cases in a manner that does not always prioritize public safety as it should. We will work with the District Attorney’s Office to work on sentencing and other measures to balance the backlog while not compromising public safety.

Brown: Currently, the biggest challenge the county faces is the drug pandemic, coupled with mental health issues. Through proper allocation of resources, up-to-date training and a collaborative effort with other emergency services and area professionals, we can work together to provide knowledge and resources to the individual and their support systems. Having resources to combat the incoming drugs and work toward recovery/coping, we can help encourage and educate for a more successful long-term resolution.

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