FROM: NEPBA Local 601 – Aroostook County Deputy Sheriffs Association
CONTACT: Matthew Cummings, Vice President
Deputy Sheriffs Union Unanimously Endorses Acting Sheriff Shawn Gillen as “the only choice.”
Fort Fairfield, ME – The union representing every full-time Deputy Sheriff is formally endorsing the candidacy of Acting Sheriff Shawn D. Gillen, of Blaine. NEPBA Local 601, also known as the Aroostook County Deputy Sheriffs Association, recently polled its membership and received unanimous support from every active member to offer this endorsement. All of our unit’s career retirees were also contacted and they want their voices added to this endorsement.
Acting Sheriff Gillen is well known to all of us and we know him to consistently be the type of person who will look you in the eye and tell you the truth, whether he believes you are going to like what he says or not. This is something we have become accustomed to and appreciate. We have all worked with him, some of us for as much as 20 years, and this is who he is and who he has always been. For us, there is no character trait we hold more important in a leader.
Acting Sheriff Gillen demands a drama free work environment and does not condone chaos as a method to manage personnel. He listens to ideas and takes employees’ viewpoints into consideration. He is a hard worker and is available any time of the day or night that we need him. He has done most of the jobs throughout the agency and has a keen working knowledge of every element and function of the Sheriff’s Office. He has proven his ability to manage a multi-million dollar budget and hold the line on expenses, while making sure staff has the training and equipment they need to be as safe as possible in an often challenging environment. As evidenced by the groundswell of support from his colleagues, he also knows the value of building and maintaining professional relationships that benefit the people we serve.
The morale of our unit is high, we are being paid a fair wage, we have the best equipment available to our profession and we have the unwavering support of our entire leadership team when we have done our jobs within the expectations they have set forth. Even when it is necessary for leadership to hold an employee accountable for a lapse in judgement or an error that could have been avoided, remedial action is carried out in a fair and consistent manner across the board.
Historically, organizations like ours have been very selective about inserting their opinions or endorsements into political campaigns to elect their own boss. Concerns such as, “you need to be careful not to back the wrong horse” and “you could face the wrath of the other guy if things don’t go in your favor” are worthy of consideration. Therefore, we truly do not take this endorsement lightly. In the final analysis, however, we just don’t feel that in this election cycle Aroostook County is faced with the choice between two, acceptable outcomes for those we serve…only one. For that reason, we feel obligated to share with our neighbors and friends what our years of interaction have taught us about Acting Sheriff Gillen. We are hopeful they may take our experience into consideration when deciding their vote in just a few short weeks.
It is important to note that more than 50% of our membership is not even registered in the same political party as Acting Sheriff Gillen. This has no impact as we believe the focus should not be on political parties, but rather on character and track record.
The Constitutional Office of the Sheriff has many responsibilities and by its very nature comes with much, unchecked authority. This level of responsibility and individual power must only be bestowed upon mature, honest, stable and fair individuals who respect that authority more than they desire it. In our collective opinion that person is, without hesitation, Acting Sheriff Shawn Gillen. We ask that you join us, all of your local police chiefs and so many others who have come forward in support of Shawn Gillen as our next Sheriff.