As I travel around Waldo County, I often find that folks know very little about their Sheriff’s office. Sheriffs came into existence in England around the 9th century. This makes the sheriff the oldest continuing law enforcement entity in history. Sheriffs came to America with the expansion of the British colonies. The duties of the early American sheriff were similar in many ways to its English forerunner, focusing on court related duties such as security and warrants, protection of citizens, maintaining the jail and collecting taxes. Sheriffs began to be elected in the late 1700s. By the 1800s, sheriffs became not only a tradition, but in most states a constitutional requirement. Currently in the United States, there are 3083 sheriffs; the citizens of their counties elect approximately 98 percent. The fact that sheriffs are elected sets us apart from other law enforcement agencies. We are directly accountable to the citizens through the election process.
Here in Waldo County, your Sheriff’s Office is a full service agency providing law enforcement, corrections and civil paperwork service to folks who live, work and visit our county. Our law enforcement division handles approximately 9,000 calls for service from the public each year. These calls include all types of incidents from murders, domestic violence, robberies, burglaries, thefts, child abuse, sexual assaults, drug overdoses, and much more. Our patrol deputies are also responsible for traffic safety enforcement conducting more than eleven hundred traffic stops per year and investigating hundreds of traffic accidents.
The Corrections division has operated the Maine Coastal Regional Re-entry Center for more than twelve years. The center is a 32-bed facility where men who are finishing periods of incarceration attend programs assisting them with integrating back into society as productive and contributing citizens. The corrections division also operates the County Garden Project. Residents of the Re-entry Center grow more than 150,000 pounds of fresh vegetables that are distributed to local food pantries each year. Our corrections facility also functions as a booking and holding facility in which several hundred persons a year, who are arrested in the county, are booked, bailed, or held for a period of time.
Our Civil Service Division is responsible for serving legal paperwork all over the county. These papers include civil court notices, eviction notices,
notice of lawsuits, and much more. The division serves more than twelve hundred sets of documents per year.
The members of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office are proud to serve the citizens of our county. We appreciate the high level of support expressed by the folks we encounter in our daily travels. Please do not hesitate to call us at 207-338-6786 or stop by our office at 6 Public Safety Way in Belfast if you have questions or need our services.
Jeffrey C. Trafton
Waldo County Sheriff
The American Sheriff – David R. Stuckhoff
Justice Research Institute