A veteran sheriff’s deputy who was among the many first to reply to Maine’s deadliest mass taking pictures mentioned state police gave native companions solely “radio silence” and wasted invaluable sources throughout a sweeping seek for the alleged killer.
In a Fb publish that has been eliminated, Sgt. Jon Guay of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned state police management shut out native cops, leaving federal legislation enforcement officers and others to “sit idle.” The one approach they acquired info was by inner leaks, he wrote.
Guay referred to as the Maine State Police command workers “utter clowns,” saying native legislation enforcement was saved out of the loop.
“To not embrace our native companies within the info circle is insulting and one we are going to always remember,” he wrote.
The withering publish supplied a uncommon public have a look at rigidity inside the state’s close-knit legislation enforcement neighborhood. It additionally amounted to the primary pointed, public criticism of the Maine State Police-led seek for alleged shooter Robert R. Card II of Bowdoin, which plunged the area into lockdown for 48 hours till Card was discovered lifeless in Lisbon on Friday.
Card allegedly opened fireplace earlier than 7 p.m. Wednesday on the Simply-In-Time Recreation bowling alley after which afterward at Schemengees Bar and Grille. The taking pictures left 18 lifeless and 13 wounded and sparked the most important manhunt in state historical past till Card was discovered lifeless in a trailer exterior a recycling facility the place he as soon as labored.
By Thursday, 350 legislation enforcement officers had been within the space aiding with the hunt, Shannon Moss, a spokesperson for the Maine Division of Public Security, mentioned. They included police at state, county and native ranges from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont and federal companies together with the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Division of Homeland Safety.
It’s unclear precisely when Guay made the publish. He didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Monday, Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson mentioned he noticed the publish Sunday, then Guay referred to as him to debate it. The publish didn’t violate workplace insurance policies, nor did Samson ask Guay to take it down. The sheriff mentioned he may perceive Guay’s frustrations, even when he didn’t share them.
“You have a look at that tragedy, and also you have a look at what we’ve got all been by — all people concerned,” Samson mentioned. “However he was expressing his frustration, and I get it.”
Guay was one of many first responding officers to Wednesday’s mass taking pictures and was concerned with the search efforts for Card up till his physique was discovered. Everybody has a unique approach of decompressing from an occasion like this, Samson mentioned.
After any type of main police motion, like a mass taking pictures or police use of lethal power, there’s an after-action evaluate, Samson mentioned. That evaluate may be the extra correct venue to air issues or frustrations with the response to the taking pictures, the sheriff mentioned.
Guay has been working for the sheriff’s workplace since 1999 and for about 10 years was a part of the sheriff’s workplace’s Okay-9 crew. His longtime Okay-9 companion, Bosco, died in 2020. In 2021, he was one in all 4 law enforcement officials who shot and killed 44-year-old Jason A. Gora in Minot. The Workplace of the Maine Legal professional Normal cleared Guay, together with the opposite three officers concerned.
Having labored within the county since then and notably within the Lewiston and Auburn space, Guay mentioned in his publish that his colleagues have developed networks and relationships that would have allowed info to unfold inside “seconds.”
“Nobody is aware of this county higher than the native officers who work in it,” he mentioned. “We now have utilized this networking technique many occasions earlier than in separate incidents, however when Maine State Police confirmed up Wednesday night time…all that stopped.”
The Maine State Police haven’t given detailed info on how the manhunt was led, who was in cost and the way info flowed to every company concerned. Moss, the state police spokesperson, didn’t deal with the small print of Guay’s complaints in a press release that mentioned her company values its relationship with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Workplace.
“It’s unlucky this assertion was made however it was a grueling and irritating 48 hours for everybody,” Moss mentioned.
Some native police had seen roles within the search. Samson instructed a reporter on the night time of the shootings that he was working in Lisbon on Wednesday, whereas Lisbon police Chief Ryan McGee was serving to conduct searches late final week in his city. Michael Sauschuck, the commissioner of the Maine Division of Public Security, has praised the coordination between companies.
“That is an all palms on deck strategy,” Lewiston police Chief David St. Pierre mentioned at a Friday information convention. “We now have a substantial amount of collaboration and sources which have been made accessible to us.”
Large manhunts just like the one for Card require a lightning-fast response, numerous police and cautious coordination. James Turner, the police chief in Hampton, Georgia, was thrust into an analogous state of affairs in July after a gunman shot and killed 4 individuals within the Atlanta suburb.
Turner didn’t need to remark particularly on the Maine search, however he mentioned his crew established a command heart with a consultant from every police company concerned to guarantee real-time info could possibly be shared with everybody though his division was in cost.
Police searched places a number of occasions to ensure nothing was missed, bringing within the U.S. Marshals Service early as a result of discovering individuals is “what they’re good at,” Turner mentioned.
“Definitely what helped us to have as profitable of a decision as shortly as we did, was simply the partnerships with all the person companies,” he mentioned.
BDN reporter Marie Weidmayer contributed to this report.