Hancock County’s former elected treasurer has taken a job as a full-time police officer with the town of Southwest Harbor.
Michael Boucher resigned as county treasurer in March, nine months before his term was due to expire, after he came under fire from other county officials for having no financial management training and for refusing to get any. Boucher has worked for eight different police departments since 2011, most of them on a part-time basis.
Boucher is expected to attend an 18-week training course at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy starting next month to get his certification as a full-time police officer, Police Chief John Hall said Monday.
The Southwest Harbor Police Department is small and, like most every other small-town department in Maine, has difficulty filling patrol shifts when short-handed. Hall said he fills patrol shifts himself if needed.
Though other candidates have been offered jobs as patrol officers in the 18 months Hall has led the department, Boucher is the only person he has offered a job to that has “made it this far,” Hall said.
Boucher’s experience as a police officer and his familiarity with the area were among his qualifications for the job, Hall said. Boucher, an Ellsworth native who lives in Franklin, has worked part time for police departments in Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor. Living locally was also a plus.
“It’s very difficult to find housing in the area,” Hall said. “Every department has their own challenges, and ours is the availability of local housing that police officers can afford.”
Most recently, Boucher worked for the Dexter Police Department, Hall said. After he completes his training at the academy, he will have to complete a one-year-probationary period in his new position.
The town has five full-time officers including Hall and Lt. Michael Miller, and is looking to fill another open patrol position, the chief said. He hopes that whoever fills the post will function as a community liaison or maybe a school resource officer.
Plus, Miller has told Hall he plans to retire when Boucher returns from the 18-week course next spring, which will create another vacancy in the department. Hall said Miller has been with the department for 29 years.
In addition to working in Dexter and in Hancock County, Boucher has worked as a police officer for Belfast, Machias, Northport Searsport, and Wilton, and as a corrections officer in both Hancock and Washington counties.
Before he was elected treasurer of Hancock County in 2018, when he ran as a write-in candidate, Boucher served as an Ellsworth city councilor for two years, from 2010 to 2012. He resigned for that position with a year left in his term for personal health reasons.