The Dixfield Police Department has closed and been replaced for the next 180 days by the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department due to Dixfield Police Chief Aaron Mick’s resignation and a lack of full-time officers, the Rumford Falls Times reported.
Town Manager Dustin Starbuck made the announcement on Tuesday after the Dixfield Board of Selectmen voted to take that action after an emergency meeting Monday evening. Mick, hired last September, resigned “about 10 days ago,” effective this Friday, Starbuck said, leaving the department “down to one full-time employee.”
The department has been rendered defunct previously. A “personnel issue” forced the Oxford sheriffs to cover the town in late December 2016. At that point, the only two full time officers on the force, Police Chief Jefferey Howe and patrol officer Anne Simmons-Edmunds, were placed on paid administrative leave, and the reserve officers were taken off schedule.
This time, the remaining full-time employee, Dave Hodgson, will be laid off, along with Officer Anne Simmons-Edmunds, who was placed on administrative leave May 22, while an outside agency conducts an investigation over a “serious matter,” the Falls Times reported.
The Falls Times reported that Starbuck termed the action as closing the department, not disbanding, at this time. “The reason is until the voters actually vote to disband, we can’t dissolve or disband it,” he said.
Residents are urged to call 911 or Oxford County dispatch at 1-800-733-1421 for service.