Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wreaths Across America 2015

Here are just a few photographs from when the Knox County Sheriff's Office participated in the 2015 Wreaths Across America recently.

You can find a lot more photos on the Knox County Sheriff's Office Facebook page by clicking HERE.

























Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A reminder about those electronic Christmas presents!

This is a time of year when many of us will receive all kinds of electronic gifts. Since computers are such a large part of our lives, we want to remind everyone to make sure that any new electronic device is secure before using it.

From cell phones and tablets to video games and car navigation systems, please be sure to set up, use, and secure your device correctly. Also make sure that your children's devices are set up securely as well.

Here are some tips from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US - CERT) about securing new devices:

  1. Connect to a SECURE network and secure your router.
  2. Enable and configure a firewall: your user's guide has instructions on enabling your firewall. Also consult the user's guide to learn how to configure the security settings and set a strong password that is not easily guessed.
  3. Install, use, and update antivirus and antispyware software obtained from reputable sources (directly from the vendor's website).
  4. Remove unnecessary software.
  5. Modify unnecessary default features: Computers and other devices often have default settings that automatically transmit information to the maker of the device and you probably won't even know it's happening. Go through the systems settings and make sure you're not unknowingly sharing information that you don't want to.
  6. Secure your web browser.
  7. Make sure you apply software updates and enable automatic future updates.
  8. Establish security "rules" for your family's computers: make sure that everyone in the family understands that they need to use different passwords for different sites, should not open email attachments without verifying who sent them, and should never provide private information to anyone over the internet.
  9. Do not leave your device unattended in public or in easily accessible areas.
  10. Use passwords that are unique and use symbols, numbers, and use both upper and lowercase letters.
  11. Know where you are connected! Be careful about public Wi-Fi - any data you transmit while using unsecured public Wi-Fi is out there for anyone to access. That includes passwords, etc. when you are logging into sites or emailing information/pictures/etc.
If you have questions about identity theft or data breaches and would like assistance or general information, Maine Identity Services can help. They publish data breach and identity theft reference materials, training for police, and provide speakers for meetings. You can reach them at 855-463-4343 or email at info@meidhelp.com.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fatal Crash on Wotton's Mill Road in Union - December 6, 2015

The Knox County Sheriff's Office is investigating a crash that claimed the lives of two teenagers and sent a third teenager to the hospital for what is believed to be non-life threatening injuries. The crash occurred just before midnight on Wotton's Mill Road in Union.

The 17-year-old driver, Caleb Byras, of Litchfield, Maine, and a passenger, 16-year-old Kara Brewer of Rockland, were both pronounced dead at the scene. The other passenger, a 17-year-old female from Warren, was transported by Union Ambulance to the hospital.

Approximately an hour prior to the crash, Rockport Police Officer Craig Cooley had stopped and summonsed driver, Caleb Byras, for speeding. At that time, Mr. Byras had been alone in the vehicle at that time. When Officer Cooley again clocked Mr. Byras an hour later speeding again, he attempted to stop the vehicle on Route 17 in Rockport. Officer Cooley notified the Knox Regional Communications Center that the car was not stopping on his signal to do so, and was headed west on Route 17.

Officer Cooley pursued the vehicle until he lost sign of the car after turning onto Wotton's Mill Road. He notified the Communications Center that he would continue down Wotton's Mill Road to look for the vehicle. More than two miles down the road, Officer Cooley came upon a crash involving the vehicle he had attempted to stop. The car had crossed over to the other side of the road, gone off the road, and crashed into a tree. The force of the impact split the car into two sections, killing the driver and the front seat passenger, who were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Hope and Union Fire assisted on scene and the crash is being reconstructed and mapped by the Maine State Police.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping tips

The Knox County Sheriff's Office would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Here are some tips for those of you who will be doing some shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
__________________________________
 
DO NOT USE YOUR DEBIT CARD
 
Your debit card can give a hacker an open door into your bank accounts, so don't use it to shop. Under the laws that govern the fraudulent use of your debit card, you may loose all or some of the amounts involved if you don't respond in time to the theft. Even the new computer chip cards won't protect you if you are using it to shop over the internet.
 
USE A PRE-PAID CREDIT CARD INSTEAD
 
For online and in-store shopping, consider using a pre-paid credit card. These can be quickly obtained and will not allow a thief access to your bank account or other credit card accounts. Plus, a pre-paid card has the added benefit of letting you limit your spending before you start shopping.
 
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR WALLET OR PURSE IN YOUR CAR
 
A locked car door is no protection if the thief is determined to get in to look for your wallet, check book, credit cards, etc. It's always "shopping season" for thieves who work in organized gangs, so make it a habit to never leave these items in your vehicle, no matter how quickly you expect to return.
 
TAKE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD OUT OF YOUR WALLET
 
Your social security card is prized information for a thief because it can be used and re-used for repeated fraudulent activities. If you must carry the number with you, write the number on a separate piece of paper as if it was a phone number (place a "1" as the first or last number to make it appear as a ten-digit phone number.) In this way, the information will appear as (XXX) XXX-XXX1 instead of your social security number XXX-XX-XXXX.
 
CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS
 
If you have some favorite online shopping sites, make sure that you are using different passwords for each one. Using the same password across all of the internet sites that you visit means that hackers only have to figure out one password and will be able to use your identity to shop on several sites or use your financial information.
 
RECORD YOUR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION
 
Write down the number of the credit card you will be using to shop just in case the card is lost - or worse - stolen. Before you leave home, make sure that you have recorded the number of the card and the customer service number on the card so you can call the issuer immediately to report it as missing.
 
IS IT THE REAL WEBSITE?
 
It is easy to be lured to a website for deals that sound too good to be true, and thieves are hoping that will happen. Make sure that any website you visit to make purchases is the real deal. Don't open links from attachments; instead, use your browser to go to the business' actual website to make your purchase. If you are still in doubt, either don't make the purchase, or call the legitimate store phone number and make the purchase via phone.
 
WE HOPE YOU HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE SHOPPING SEASON!
 
These tips were provided by the Maine Identity Services, LLC.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Citizens Police Academy - Video - 10/29/15

This video was taken by Village Soup (VStv) at the October 29th class of the Citizens Police Academy run by the Knox County Sheriff's Department.

video

The original video can be found at: https://vimeo.com/144061435

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Vehicle Accident in South Thomaston - October 27, 2015

At approximately 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Deputy John Hansen was conducting a radar detail on Route 73 in the school zone by the Guilford-Butler School in South Thomaston when he noticed a truck heading north going 38 miles per hour in the 15 mph zone school zone. Deputy Hansen pulled out behind the truck and attempted to pull the truck over. The driver of the truck seemed to slow down as though intending to pull over, but then sped off.

Deputy Hansen pursued the driver on Route 73 and onto the Dublin Road in South Thomaston. The driver of the truck failed to navigate a 90 degree turn on the Dublin Road near Snow Hill Lane and lost control, leaving the road five times. The truck ran over bushes, rocks, and a small building believed to be a well pump house, before crossing the road for the last time and rolling onto its side, coming to a rest off the side of the road after hitting a rock wall.

The white 2005 Chevrolet Silverado is registered to Alana Gibbons or Rockland but was being driven by Brandon Demmons, 21-years-old, of Union. Joell Fogg, 48-years-old, of Warren, was a passenger in the vehicle. Both men were treated at the scene by South Thomaston Rescue and released. Demmons was charged with Driving to Endanger, Attempting to Elude an Officer, and Speeding. Demmons was transported to the Knox County Jail and booked on those charges, and later posted bail.

The truck, valued at approximately $9,000 is believed to be totaled.







Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Incident at the Knox County Jail - Tyrone Trask - October 26, 2015

Deputy John Hansen responded to the Knox County Jail in the afternoon of October 26th for a reported assault on a corrections officer. Tyrone Trask, 55 of Rockport, was in a restraint chair when Deputy Hansen arrived at the Jail. Trask was being held at the Jail for a number of prior charges and has been combative with corrections officers. While being placed in the restraint chair, Trask spit in the face of one of the officers and also threatened physical harm and death to all involved as soon as he is released. Trask was charged with Assault on an Officer (which is a Class C, Felony) and three counts of Criminal Threatening (Class D). He remains a the Knox County Jail.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Citizen's Police Academy is underway!

The first annual Citizen's Police Academy at the Knox County Sheriff's Office is four weeks in and going great!

Here are a couple pictures from the week 4 class. The lesson was on Operating Under the Influence (OUI) detection and enforcement, as well as about the responsibilities of a drug recognition expert. This week's teacher was Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Polky.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sharing the Bounty

The Knox County Jail's gardens have been doing well enough that staff have been able to donate food to other organizations:

8/21/15 - 450 lbs of potatoes given to the Methodist Conference Home / Meals on Wheels

8/28/15 - 150 lbs of potatoes given to the Mid-Coast School of Technology

9/08/15 - 350 lbs of potatoes given to the Methodist Conference Home / Meals on Wheels

9/11/15 - 25 lbs of tomatoes and 25 lbs of cucumbers given to the Mid-Coast School of Technology

9/15/15 - 4 Jack-o-lantern pumpkins, 6 pie pumpkins, and 5 bundles of corn stalks (to use as decoration) given to Child Development Services
9/15/15 - 75 ears of corn given to the Mid-Coast School of Technology

9/17/15 - 150 ears of corn and 175 lbs of potatoes given to the Mid-Coast School of Technology

9/29/15 - 100 lbs of potatoes and 10 bundles of corn stalks (to use as decoration) given to the Mid-Coast School of Technology
9/29/15 - 5 bundles of corn stalks (to use as decoration) given to Child Development Services
9/29/15 - 300 lbs of potatoes given to the Methodist Conference Home / Meals on Wheels

September 28, 2015 Accident on Route 17

Just after noon on September 28th, the Sheriff's Office responded to a single vehicle crash on Route 17 in Washington.

Scott Ware, 43, of Gardiner, was driving a PEP Transportation flatbed 18-wheeler loaded with new Fisher snowplows and equipment. It was first reported that the truck was on fire with a single occupant/driver trapped inside. The truck had been traveling west on Route 17 and failed to negotiate a curve near Fitch Road, crossing the eastbound lane into a field. After going another 300 feet, the truck ended up rolling over onto its roof.

A passerby stopped and extinguished the fire and waited with the driver for first responders to arrive and help get him out of the truck. Mr. Ware was first transported to Pen Bay Medical Center and then flown by Lifeflight to a hospital in Lewiston with non-life threatening injuries.

Washington Fire Department, Union Fire Department and Ambulance Service, and Somerville Fire Department all assisted on-scene.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 23, 2015 - Union Burglaries - Public Assistance Requested

Early this morning, between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., two burglaries occurred at the Union True Value and Come Spring Café in Union.

Knox County Detective Don Murray believes that the suspect had a vehicle close by, possibly on or near the side of the road on Route 17.

Anyone that may have seen something unusual or a car in that area around that time frame is encouraged to call the Knox County Sheriff's Office at 207-594-0677.

Investigators are still on scene gathering evidence at this time. These burglaries are not believed to be related to the recent rash of commercial burglaries.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Stolen Puppies Returned

Knox County Sheriff's Office Sergeant John Palmer and Detective Lieutenant Reggie Walker aid in the recovery of three puppies stolen from Sukee Kennels in Warren. For more details, check out the news articles on Village Soup and Bangor Daily News.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Need to Get Rid of Your Old Prescriptions?

Don't forget, you don't have to wait for the annual Drug Take-back Day if you have old or unwanted medications lying around. You can drop them off in the lobby of the Knox County Sheriff's Department Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blast from the Past - Old Jail on Union Street in Rockland

This is an old post card that shows the old County Jail and Sheriff's residence that used to sit right next to the Knox County Courthouse in Rockland. The building was demolished after the new jail was constructed at 327 Park Street in 1991. There is now a parking lot where the building once stood behind the Courthouse.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. We encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on the lives lost and others that were changed forever.


The view of destruction has been replaced by a beautiful new building with two memorial pools where the original twin towers stood.


9/11 will likely always be a moment in time we will never forget. Do you remember what you were doing when you learned of the attacks? Did you know anyone who died in the attacks or in the aftermath?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Blast from the Past - 1994

This news clipping is from the November 3, 1994 edition of the Courier-Gazette. Former Sergeant Truppa has since retired from the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Knox County K-9's, Past and Present

Knox County has had a variety of K-9's over the years. Here are the most recent K-9's to work with Knox County Deputies:




Current Sergeant John Palmer with K-9 Jake.

 
K-9 Jake is a drug sniffing dog.
 
 
 
 
Deputy Jeremy Joslyn and K-9 Gunner not long after Gunner
first came to Knox County as a puppy before learning to be a tracking K-9.
 
K-9 Gunner is now all grown up and trained to track.
 
 
 
 
Former Deputy Danielle Welch and K-9 Boomer.
 
 
 
 
Former Sergeant Steve Burns and K-9 Irko.


 Irko was a skilled police dog and tracker. Irko unfortunately passed away while Sgt. Burns was deployed to Iraq.