City Welcomes Two Additions to Police Force

By Jayna Smith

Patrolman Peter Harris of the Calais Police Department. (Photo by Jayna Smith).

The Calais Police Department has welcomed two new faces:  Patrolman Peter Harris and Detective John Peterson have recently join the force. 

Peter Harris began his career in law enforcement in 1997.  Upon completion of college, he became employed in southern Maine with the York and Eliot Police Departments.  He said he choose law enforcement after being positively influenced by an officer as a child. 

“I grew up in a poor neighborhood and there was a lot of trouble.  The police wouldn’t come to our neighborhood unless there was a call, except for one police officer,” Officer Harris said.  “He’d come play ball with us every week and spend all of his free time with us.  He made us view law enforcement in a different light.  That made all the difference for me.”

A major difference between working in Calais and working in a more heavily populated area such as southern Maine, Officer Harris explained, is learning to work alone a lot.  “Most of the law enforcement officers around here work 12 hour shifts and they work mostly by themselves.  You have to get used to having your backup coming from a good distance away, especially in the middle of the night.  In southern Maine, it’s just not like that.”

Officer Harris now calls Calais his home for him and his teenage daughters, Della and Halen.  “They’re the best daughters in the world.  I wouldn’t be a cop without them.” 

Filling a new position for the Calais Police Department is John Peterson, hired as a detective.  Detective Peterson joins the force with 11 years of experience in law enforcement, most recently with the Washington County Sheriff Department where he was a corporal and K9 handler.   

Detective Peterson is a certified instructor through the police academy and is certified in many other aspects of law enforcement.  He said, “I like the idea of the detective position because that is the area that really needs attention here.  It’s long overdue in Calais.  We definitely need somebody here who can concentrate on investigations and follow up on leads.”

When asked what he foresees to be the biggest challenge he will face in this new position, Detective Peterson believes it will be to not get overwhelmed.  “I honestly believe that once I get rolling with things, I think that there’s that much of a demand and it will be a very busy job.  It will be a good job and a very productive position.”

Detective Peterson grew up in Baileyville.  He has two daughters, an 18 month old and a ten year old.