Maine Police Chiefs Gather at Children's Trust Annual Recognition Event
The event honored those who have diligently worked to prevent child abuse and neglect in Maine.
On Thursday, Oct. 19, at the DoubleTree Hotel in South Portland, ME individuals and organizations came together to bring attention to children victimized by child abuse and neglect, and recognize those who have been involved in the preventative effort.
Caribou Police Chief Michael Gahagan was presented with the Children’s Trust Community Partner award for his commitment and leadership in improving children’s well being, as well as his local work to reduce child abuse and neglect. Police Chiefs from across the state were also present to show their support for law enforcement’s role in prevention.
Portland Police Chief Mike Sauschuck delivered the night’s keynote address, acknowledging the hard work and passion that law enforcement leaders have shown, while recognizing that there is still work to be done. The Chief called out the opioid epidemic especially, citing the crisis’ impact on Maine families and children, and outlining steps that must be taken in order to decrease this damage.
The Chief’s remarks were reminiscent of a TEDx Talk he delivered in December 2016. In the talk, Chief Sauschuck reveals the moment of self reflection that changed his perception on drug-related deaths, acknowledging that something like drug use starts earlier and is ingrained deeper than the moment when law enforcement must get involved.
The unfortunate reality of stopping crime in 2016 is that we arrest everybody, and that is an incredibly short-sighted and lazy approach to problem solving.
Michael J. Sauschuck, Chief of Police, Portland
He goes on to call on his audience, and the public at large, to stand up and act. “Are you going to stand by and allow this epidemic to stall in the interest phase, where everybody wants to talk about it? Or are you going to demand that we move into the investment stage, when everyone wants to do something about it?”
In the TEDx Talk, and in his remarks at the Children’s Trust Annual Awards, Chief Sauschuck recognizes that action and adaptation is necessary and urgent, in order to better the lives of future generations.
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