By Carol McCracken (Post # 301)
Officer Gayle Petty, was promoted to Senior Lead Officer for Sector One earlier this afternoon at a press conference conducted by Chief James Craig at Police Headquarters. This new program is designed to help the department achieve its overall goal of improving its relationship with neighborhoods within the city as well as enhance policing and response by patrol.
Officer Petty has lived on the Hill for seventeen years and been a police officer for 16 of those years. She attended the Maine College of Art for photography and then earned a degree from USM in crimonology. She said since she’s been on the Hill for so long, she already knows a lot of people up here. Beginning on Tuesday, October 13, her hours will be from 4:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. She can be reached by cell phone at 650-8770 and she can be emailed at GayleP@PortlandMaine.gov. If anyone has an issue to be discussed with Gayle, they need to call dispatch at the non-emergency number 874-8575 or call 911. Sector One includes Munjoy Hill, East Bayside and Kennedy Park.
In his introductory comments, Chief Craig who formerly worked in Los Angeles said he well understood the importance of community policing – working with the community. When he arrived in Portland weeks ago, he wondered how to “take community policing to the next level.” So, the city was divided into seven sectors with a Senior Lead Officer in each one. (Petty was the only woman to be elevated to this position).
“This is a great day for the City of Portland,” Chief Craig said. “This program was designed for the City of Portland. I’m not trying to make it into another Los Angeles. This is Portland.”