Fryeburg hires new cops

By Lisa Williams Ackley
Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — This town has hired two new fulltime police officers — one of whom is the first fulltime female police officer ever to come on to the force here.

Chief of Police Philip Weymouth said he is proud to have hired Michelle Legare and Thomas Hundley, both of whom have been working part-time for the Fryeburg Police Department. They will fill the two open 40-hour per week positions in the Fryeburg Police Department, according to Chief Weymouth.

Officer Legare, who is 32 years old, grew up in Lovell and Stow and graduated from Fryeburg Academy. She is married, and her family owns Melbye’s in North Waterford, where she was a partner in the business for five years. Legare graduated from Andover College where she majored in Criminal Justice.

Since she first came on board here, part time, four years ago, Chief Weymouth said Officer Legare “has shown a lot of motivation, in that period of time.”

NEW FULLTIME FRYEBURG POLICE OFFICERS — are Michelle Legare and Thomas Hundley, shown here with Chief of Police Philip Weymouth (at right). (Ackley Photo)

“I started working here, part time,” said Officer Legare. “I think it’s a great community, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Officer Hundley (the “d” in Hundley is silent) is 44 years old, and he and his wife, April, are the parents of four children who range in age from 16 to 22. He worked as a police officer for the Town of Eliot for 10 years — three years part-time, and seven and a half years full time. He has worked part-time for the Rangeley Police Department, since 2006. Hundley attended the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in 1995, and took the 18 weeklong training course there, in 1998.

Officer Hundley is a Maine native who grew up in Kittery and Eliot. He was an Eagle Scout who went on to become a member of the Order of the Arrow. He also was in Demolay at the Masonic Lodge in Kittery.

Law enforcement, as a career, seems to be a given, in the Hundley family.

“My father, Robert, was in law enforcement for 44 years,” said Hundley. “He was police chief in Kittery, and he finished his career with the York County Sheriff’s Office. Both my grandfather and my grandmother, Anne and Ellsworth Hundley, were with the Kittery Police Department. My grandmother was a police matron.”

“In my spare time, I enjoy hunting and fishing and being a mechanic,” Hundley stated.

Why does he like Fryeburg?

“It’s a proactive police department, and the people here work well together,” said Hundley, who started part-time, in early July. “I am glad to be here and to have the opportunity to further my career.”

Chief Weymouth said he is pleased to be able to hire both fulltime police officer positions from within the department.

“I looked at the internal part of it, and saw no reason not to hire from within,” Weymouth stated. “We have well qualified people who do great jobs. So, I figured I’d hire from within. We had six applicants, but one withdrew. We formed an oral board comprised of Lieutenant Peter Madura of the Bridgton Police Department, Lieutenant Michael McAllister from our department, Fryeburg Police Officer Nick Cole and Steve Searcy of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office. The Oral Board members interviewed everybody, and I asked them, ‘Should I go outside (the department to hire)?’ They said, ‘No, you don’t need to go outside — you’ve got plenty of good talent right here.’”

Chief Weymouth said that, by hiring the new fulltime police officers from within the department, it means there will be less of a learning curve, and they already know the geography of the area and are familiar with departmental standard operating procedures (SOPs). Promoting from within — I think it works.”

Currently, the Fryeburg Police Department has six fulltime police officers and 12 part-time officers during the busy summertime. Seven of the 12 part-time officers work during the fall and winter, as well, according to Chief Weymouth.

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