PARIS — Oxford County Sheriff Christopher Wainwright on Wednesday blamed recordkeeping for two school resource officers being issued guns even though their certification as law enforcement officers had expired.

Percy Turner, who covers Buckfield for Regional School Unit 10, and Michael Kaspereen, who covers Hiram-based Maine School Administrative District 55, carried guns despite not being certified after they retired from the Maine State Police.

While the original appointment was made by previous Sheriff James Theriault in 2018, Wainwright continued to renew the contracts with the two school systems. Both officers were issued guns and a badge and had the power to make arrests.

Wainwright on Wednesday blamed the oversight on recordkeeping, adding that Turner and Kaspereen were well qualified.

“This was a clerical error when they were hired by the previous sheriff,” he said in a statement. “When this was brought to my attention, it was rectified. Both deputies are former sergeants with the Maine State Police and were on staff as trainers at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy at one point.”

The matter was investigated by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.


In August, Wainwright’s attorney, Jonathan Berry, said the investigation was an administrative matter and not disciplinary.

On Sept. 15, the Maine Criminal Justice Academy sent a Letter of Guidance to Wainwright, saying it was the sheriff’s responsibility to make sure his officers have the proper certification and “if they carry a firearm on school property before recertification, they may be committing a Class E crime.”

Letters of Guidance are meant as education for law enforcement in areas that need corrective action.

The letters will be placed in the officers’ files, but neither Wainwright nor the officers will face disciplinary action by the academy.

Turner has regained his certification, while Kaspereen has a provisional one, according to the Bangor Daily News. He reportedly has until mid-December to pass his final exam.

Wainwright stressed the importance of having trained and qualified officers in the schools, especially in today’s climate.

“Now, more than ever, it is imperative to have a law enforcement presence in our schools,” he said. “The safety of our children must come first.”

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