Mexico’s five-person department is now down to three. They are, from left, Officer Ashley Rich, Chief Roy Hodsdon and Lt. Derek MacDonald. The officers attended a meeting Wednesday at the Town Office.  Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Heeding pleas from their police chief, the Board of Selectmen are adding a late article to the Nov. 7 ballot to fund a police officer.

The article reads: “To see if the town will vote to allocate up to $215,000 from undesignated funds (surplus) to retain and recruit police officers, including an additional officer. All unused monies will return to surplus.”

During a 30-minute informational meeting Wednesday at the Town Office, Chief Roy Hodsdon, a police veteran of 26 years, noted, “If I don’t get more help, we’re screwed. … We need that help during times when we have more calls and I need help with investigations. We’re literally handling calls all day. It doesn’t stop.”

Sitting before the select board with Lt. Derek MacDonald to his left and Officer Ashley Rich to his right, Hodsdon said, “These two are covering your town. It wears you down.”

The five-person department is now down to three after Officer Robert Drouin went on medical leave this week. Hodsdon said Drouin is expected to be out of action for at least three months.

In June, Officer Dustin Broughton resigned. Since that time, Hodsdon said his efforts to find a replacement resulted in “no viable applications.”


Town Manager Raquel Welch-Day said the funding from the article would include a full year’s salary and compensation costs of $136,000 for an officer’s position, as well as costs for recruitment and retention.

Board Chairman TJ Williams said, “We did not want a special town meeting and have just six people show up to vote. We wanted this is on the ballot when the whole town can vote.”

Welch-Day noted that the town is carrying a surplus exceeding $1 million.

Hodsdon said they are presently at 3,100 calls and can expect over 4,000 by the end of the year. “It’s a buyer’s market. Everyone is hiring right now,” Hodsdon said.

“We do have people (candidates) who are waiting. A lot don’t want to come here because they see how busy we are.”

He said there is little help available to assist his department. There are two reserve officers, but both work for other police departments. There is also little help available from the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, Hodsdon said, as that department’s deputies have diminished in number.

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