2013-01-04 / Front Page

Volunteer worked toward a safer town

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Jane Thurlow was honored last month by Police Chief Robert Moulton for her years of service to the Volunteers in Police Service in Scarborough. Thurlow retired from the post in December. (Courtesy photo) Jane Thurlow was honored last month by Police Chief Robert Moulton for her years of service to the Volunteers in Police Service in Scarborough. Thurlow retired from the post in December. (Courtesy photo) Jane Thurlow has made a world of difference for the Scarborough Police Department although she has never had a day of training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

For the past seven years, Thurlow, a Scarborough resident since 1979, has volunteered with Volunteers in Police Service, a group of citizens in town who are committed to seeing Scarborough a safer place to live, work and visit. Thurlow retired from the volunteer post earlier this week.

“She is one of the founding members of the Volunteers in Police group in Scarborough,” said Scarborough Police Chief Robert Moulton. “She’s been a Godsent for the program. She’s done all the administrative work. Different people like different things. Some people like the community patrol. She has done that, but she has been a mainstay keeping up with all the paperwork and training.”

Her background in human resources, Moulton said, helped in that regard. In 2004, Thurlow retired after 25 years working in the human resources office at Burnham and Morrill Co. in Portland.

The federal Volunteers in Police Services program was started in 2002 by President George W. Bush as one of five Citizen Corps program, an effort to build upon the acts of sacrifice and service that came out of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Moulton said the group, which includes more than a dozen volunteers, provides clerical support, enforces handicapped parking and fire lane violations around the holidays, patrols neighborhoods and helps at special events, such as Summerfest, Winterfest and Halloween trick-or-treating.

As a volunteer in the program, Thurlow said she has kept track of paperwork and done data entry for the detective division and police administration. She also helped Officer Joe Giacomantonio with his efforts leading the Drug Awareness and Resistance Education program and as the state coordinator of the Law Enforcement Support Program, in which military surplus is made available to local police departments. Volunteers, she added, are required to commit to eight hours of service a month. Thurlow said she helps out in the department four or five days a week and between 35 and 40 hours a month.

“(VIP is) a good way to give back because I have great admiration for the police and fire departments. They are topnotch people. They have been good to me,” Thurlow said.

Thurlow’s years of service were recognized with a plaque and sheet cake at the department’s Christmas luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 13.

“We were able to surprise her,” Moulton said. “One of the rare times we were able to do that. She’s a pretty sharp lady.”

Thurlow said she has enjoyed being able to help the police department as needed.

“I enjoy getting out in the community and meeting new people,” Thurlow said. “We can help police so much by taking over things like patrols, traffic detail or ticketing, so the police can focus on more serious things that need to be done.”

“It gives you a feeling of satisfaction you are giving back to them. They do such a wonderful job – both police and fire. The rescue’s is also top-notch,” Thurlow added.

Now that Thurlow has stepped down from her volunteer role in the police department, she said she is going to take some time off. It won’t last long, however. She is thinking about getting involved with Project G.R.A.C.E. (Granting Resource and Assistance through Community Efforts).

“They do great work for the poor in Scarborough and those in need,” Thurlow said.

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