Twelve Windham police officers including Chief Rick Lewsen sat in the audience of Tuesday night’s town council meeting as Kevin L. Schofield was named and confirmed as the new Windham police chief. Schofield will replace Lewsen at the end of April.
“I’ve known him for a while,” said Lieutenant James Boudreau. “He’ll be a positive influence to drive us forward with a lot of innovation.”
Schofield has also worked in Topsham and spent 21-years in Brunswick taking advantage of the opportunities he was presented like working as a detective, as an officer and finally retiring at the rank of commander.
“He brings a lot of vision and follow-through. We’re excited as a department,” said Sgt. Bill Andrew.
Fifty people were involved in the five month search for the right candidate. “We wound up in a very good place,” said town manager Tony Plante. “We are in the process of transition. We’ll look forward to the next chapter of the Windham Police Department.”
Schofield had been thinking about Windham as a career opportunity, when the position was advertised. “I knew I’d have a lot of support here. I can’t tell you how excited I am. You’re not going to regret your decision,” he told the council.
Schofield has an associate’s degree in criminal justice, a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a Master of Science degree in organizational leadership and executive certification from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
“It was heartwarming to see that kind of support,” he said about the officers in the audience. “It was also nice for the chief to come up to make a statement.”
He described the police department staff as “high quality that cares about the department.”
Windham’s unique location and the way it has been marketed to the public made the position more interesting to him. There has been steady growth in the community over the years and he sees himself fitting in well with the continued managed growth projected, he said.
“We’re very, very excited about this,” said DARE officer Matt Cyr. “I think he’ll be all over this town.”
One of Schofield’s main areas of interest is community outreach and youth. He has worked in the schools as a school resource officer and a DARE officer. He worked jointly with the YMCA to create programs for eighth graders and kids that are being rehabilitated or are at-risk.
“I have a lot of energy and a lot of ideas,” Schofield said. His philosophy is to support his staff and to set them up to succeed with the right equipment, from computers in cars, in car cameras and good working radios. He did all of this in Bridgton to put them in a good situation for transition. “That drives me as an administrator,” he said. He wants to provide tools for folks to do their jobs well.
He plans to spend the first month or two analyzing. “We will take vision, channel energy, set goals and achieve those goals,” he said. “Windham Police Department doesn’t know life without Rick Lewsen. We will honor that legacy. We will work as a team and as a department.”
When asked what his dream job was, he said, “I put my resume in for my dream job.” And, now it is his.
Schofield is married and has two adult children. He and his wife plan to move to the area later in the year.
“He’s going to be a great chief,” Lewsen concluded. Lewsen has been with the Windham Police Department since its inception in 1976 and has been the chief since 1991.