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Public Safety Profiles

Officer John Walsh
of the Lincoln Police Department
October 3 - Officer John Walsh has been on the job in the Lincoln Police Department for only a month, but he's no stranger to the Lincoln area. His wife, Bridgit, hails from Chester, so he had already spent a lot of time here when the opportunity to work in Lincoln opened up. He and Bridgit were happy to be able to raise their two-year-old son close to Bridgit's family. 
Officer Walsh, originally from Ellsworth, has been working as a police officer for almost two years. His father, also a police officer, urged him to see if he might like the job. He took a 100-hour Law Enforcement Preservice course in Vassalboro, and found he really enjoyed the work. He served in Southwest Harbor and Winter Harbor before coming to Lincoln.
A typical work day in Lincoln is much busier than his previous assignments, due to the larger population. At the beginning of a shift, he gets a rundown of what happened on the previous shift, and handles calls that come in along with checks for traffic violations. He says, "It's hard to say what a typical day is like, because every day is different."
When asked if there's a particular area of law enforcement he'd like to concentrate on, Officer Walsh says, "I want to work on finding drug dealers." He thinks drugs are rampant in the Lincoln area, and that contributes to the many burglaries and break-ins the area has experienced. He says building enough evidence in a case against those who sell drugs takes time. Once there is a suspicion that someone is dealing drugs, evidence and witness testimonies must be carefully gathered until there is enough to arrest anyone. He would like to see a program to help kids see the dangers of using drugs, including abuse of prescription drugs which is becoming more common. 
He thinks it would be helpful to have a detective in the police department, because officers are often interrupted while investigating a case by their other duties. Calls can come in at any time, and the day can get so busy that the investigation gets sidelined until time is available to get back to it. Cases could be solved faster if there was a person who could concentrate on them. Another plus would be a canine. Even during a traffic stop, if a dog hits on the scent of drugs, there is probable cause to search the vehicle. He would love to be a canine officer. "We'd find more drugs", he said. "It would be tenfold."
When asked how he liked working in Lincoln, Officer Walsh said, "I LOVE it here! I plan on staying right here. I love to hunt and fish, and I've always liked to come to this area."
We at www.lincolnmaine.us would like to welcome Officer Walsh to Lincoln, and hope our Public Safety Profiles will help you get to know those whose job it is to protect us all. If you have information on any criminal activity, call the Lincoln Police Department at 794-8455. In an emergency situation, or to file a complaint, please call 911.

Engineer/EMT Ken Lovdahl
of the Lincoln Fire Department
Ken Lovdahl's job is to help protect the residents of Lincoln from fires. He loves his work so much that he's also assistant fire chief in Lowell and a lieutenant on the Howland Fire Department. In his spare time, he's a second lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol.
After graduating from Penobscot Vally High School in 2006, Engineer Lovdahl studied fire science at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, and received his basic EMT training at York County Community College. While in college, he was a live-in firefighter in Waterboro, where he worked nights in exchange for living at the station. He was a call firefighter in Howland. For the past three of his seven years as a firefighter, he has been part of the Lincoln Fire Department.
Ken is certified to drive any of Lincoln's fire engines, but his favorite is the one he's assigned to - the town's new ladder truck. The engine's 100-foot tower is topped with a bucket that has two deck guns, which can aim 2,000 gallons of water per minute at a fire. It also has a pump to access a fire hydrant, and carries the same equipment as the other trucks except that it does not have a water tank.
Lincoln's Public Safety Building has maps of the area with water sources and hydrants marked. Once a call comes in, firefighters can quickly check the maps before leaving the station. When an emergency is reported, the call comes through the 911 system. Fire equipment is mobilized according to the type of fire call received, and where the fire is located. Area fire departments assist each other when necessary.
When asked if this is what he wants to do for the rest of his life, Ken Lovdahl's face breaks into a big grin. "I love my job!", he said. His favorite quote comes from Edward F. Croker, who was New York City's fire chief from 1899 to 1911: "When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work."
- Connie Rand
Lincoln's fire equipment has changed through the years. The photo above is by McComb Photos, and the one below is by Ken Lovdahl.
This map by Ron McComb hangs in the Lincoln Public Safety Building.