ORONO — The Orono police chief is moving forward with his goal to build better relationships with the community.
Orono Police Chief Josh Ewing has wanted to add a community policing officer to the department for years. Now his vision is coming to life.
“The idea of building partnerships in the community and building trust, it seemed like the perfect time to do it and here in Orono. We have such a diverse community that is made even more sense to do it here and we were able to do it,” said Ewing.
He said there was money in the budget. He got the OK so he decided to make it happen.
“I was able to talk to the town council, the town manager, and they seemed to believe that, that’s a great philosophy to follow, and dedicating those resources would be a great idea,” he said.
Ed Leskey is the new officer in town and he isn’t your traditional cop.
Shirley Craig, a 91-year-old Orono resident, gets a phone call from him every day.
“She’ll tell us when she does her laundry. We get to know her habits so we know her family, also. If anything were to happen, we have quick contact with her family and we know how to get into her apartment if she needs help,” Leskey said.
“I really appreciate Officer Leskey calling in the morning and being so pleasant and nice,” longtime Orono resident Craig said. She said the addition to the Orono police team is a positive move.
“He even came to the house one time and brought me a birthday card, and met my brother and my nephew that were visiting with me,” Craig said.
She said there’s nothing like a good phone call in the morning and hopes more officers will help other communities as well.