Lincolnville Divided On Town Charter Vote Involving Police Department 

On Tuesday, Lincolnville residents will determine the future of their police department.”It’s an amendment put forth by a citizens’ petition to change the town charter, which currently requires a full-time police chief, and authorizes part-time or full-time personnel, to an entirely optional department, which would be voted upon annually at town meeting,” said David Kinney, Town Administrator.Voting yes would change the charter.”Right now, the way our town charter is written, there is no choice, we are required as a town to have a police department, and we just feel that this is a democratic issue, and should be decided by the voters of the town,” said Cathy Hardy.A no vote would keep the police department in place.”No change means that we can retain at least our police chief, and no change on the vote tomorrow will keep him in his post,” said Michael Lund.While some think a local police force keeps the citizens of Lincolnville safer, others believe the town may be wasting its resources.”We’re covered not only by Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, but by the Maine State Police, and they treat us very well, and we’re paying for it anyway, so, we believe that that money could be better used,” said Hardy.”When a town loses its police, a lot of things lose its value, including your home,” said Lund.Police Chief Ron Young hopes he can keep his job, and get back part-time officers who were cut a few years ago.”A good police presence in any town is a good proactive way of stopping crime. I mean, it’s really hard to judge sometimes, but speed complaints have gone done, OUI complaints have gone done. Like any town, you’re still going to have political issues, but I really think that if you’re out there, out and about, you can prevent crime by being a good, strong presence,” said Young.The issue seems to have the town divided.”This town has debated this topic, and it’s time to put it to bed. It’s just time to put it to bed, no matter what your opinion is, hopefully, this will be the final time we have talk about it, and we can reach a resolution,” said Don Heald, a resident.Polls will be open from 8 am to 8 pm at the Lincolnville Center School on Wednesday.