Orrington selectman Monday agreed to spend $359,000 a year to contract with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office for police coverage beginning Aug. 1, according to Sheriff Troy Morton.
Voters approved spending up to $460,000 for law enforcement services at the annual town meeting June 3.
Under the contract, three deputies will be assigned to cover Orrington between 8 a.m. and midnight every day, Morton told the Penobscot County commissioners Tuesday. A deputy would be on call between midnight and 8 a.m.
The funding also would allow for additional deputies for special events such as Orrington Old Home Week, set for July 12 through 21, which includes the Endless Yard Sale from July 19 through 21 that increases traffic in town.
The town budgeted $243,880 last year for police coverage.
Selectmen decided in May to begin discussions with Morton about a month after the town’s police chief quit. Orrington was one of two towns that participated in a community policing program with the sheriff’s office for many years. Under the arrangement, Orrington employed its own officers and purchased cruisers for them to patrol the town. The officers attended the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and trained with the sheriff’s office. They wore the same uniforms and gun belts as sheriff’s deputies.
Because of Sgt. Jon Carson’s resignation and a decision to downsize the town’s proposed public safety building to provide less space for police operations, it seemed like a good time to discontinue the community policing program in Orrington, Morton said previously.
Carson now works for the sheriff’s office and is assigned to Carmel, the sheriff said Tuesday.
The other officers who were employed by the town resigned recently and have found other jobs in law enforcement.
Morton said Tuesday that members of his department would consider whether it could use or acquire Orrington’s cruisers.