Brownville votes to disband police force amid tight budget

Brownville shuts down police department

BROWNVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A tight budget forced the town of Brownville into a tough decision. Monday night residents decided the fate of their police department.

In a special election called after residents voted to defund the unit in March, citizens voted 104-34  to disband the town's police department, with many citing a low crime rate.

"It's been a long time coming," Robin Ladd, a long-time resident said, "we haven't needed a full-time police force in years."

The town was set to pay nearly $167,000 for the police force this year. This is nearly $25,000 more than the town paid in 2016.

This vote could have lasting effects well beyond Brownville's borders. Milo Police Chief Damien Pickel says it could be a blow for his department.

"We're losing our closest backup for if we have to go to a serious call," Pickel said.

Brownville residents also voted to get rid of the town's three remaining police cruisers.

With the police force officially disbanded, the town will turn to The Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office for police coverage.

 

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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