Responding with compassion
“I have the best job in the world,” said Lt. Brendan Kane of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
He is responsible for the day to day operations of the patrol division, and it’s not all about traffic stops and jail.
As the division's supervisor, Kane makes sure things go as planned – from equipment and training to staffing, policies and scheduling. As he explained, “anything that’s needed by the sheriff or chief deputy” is his responsibility.
Kane lives in Boothbay. His family moved here from Maryland when he was in eighth grade. He attended Towson University in Maryland and joined the Army Reserves. The more he heard about law enforcement, the more it appealed to him. He attended the police academy in Waterville and then joined LCSO.
Kane served as a deputy for 10 years, patrol sergeant for 15 and was promoted to lieutenant and patrol supervisor in 2017. He has served the agency his entire career, which makes him a 26-year veteran.
“We respond appropriately and well,” he said about the division. “It’s a big county and we provide 24-hour coverage.” Many of the calls and stops involve mental health issues and substance abuse, he said. “It’s seldom just criminal behavior; mental health issues and substance abuse contribute to the events.”
And, of course, the population swells during the tourist months.
Kane pointed out, many of the calls the division responds to are not considered traditional law enforcement. Often, patrol personnel have to provide crisis intervention services as first responders.
“We have people who are aging in place who may need to make a transition." Increasingly, it’s the job of the patrol division to “respond with compassion and help as much as we can.” He said the goal is to get people the services they need so they can be happy and healthy.
To provide this help, LCSO partners with Sweetser and NAMI and can get help to someone 24/7. And training for patrol responsibilities is extensive. After the basic 720 hours at the academy, training continues for thousands of hours throughout the deputy’s career.
Then there are those who specialize in specific areas - canine patrol, accident reconstruction, firearms instructors, vehicle inspections, school resource officers, drug recognition experts – all requiring more training so they are an effective resource for the sheriff’s office.
Kane said the division also works with the diversion program and addiction counselors to make sure people in the community receive the help they need. While a call doesn’t always result in an arrest, sometimes an addict will thank a deputy for arresting them, because it helped stop the destructive behavior.
Kane said the sheriff’s office is fortunate in recruiting fantastic young people bringing energy and enthusiasm to their work. He feels lucky to work in Lincoln County and enjoys the variety every day brings. As he tells the division's deputies, “If you can’t tell me whose job it is, it’s ours.”