Saturday, December 13, 2014

Windham's newest police officer - By Michelle Libby

Rookie officer Paul Dubay is just finishing the field training portion of his employment at the Windham Police Department. However, he is no rookie having been involved in police work for many years. Dubay is on his second career, as he called it, after retiring from the Air Force where he served 29 years. For the last eight of those years he held the position chief of military police. 
“This was the plan,” Dubay said about his civilian police work. He was employed at Gorham Police Department for three and a half years before taking the position of animal control officer before being hired as a police officer. His employment was considered a lateral move. 

“I was looking for a little bit more busyness. I have heard great things about the Windham Police Department,” he said. He was looking for a “military-like” structured department. Windham was that place because of how it’s structured and organized. The officers are supervised much like they are in the military, but they are still allowed to make decisions. 

Dubay grew up in Little Falls in Gorham and volunteered as a junior firefighter at the South Windham Fire Department. “It’s almost like old home days,” he said. It was at the fire department that he first announced he was going into the Air Force. Not only was he police chief, he also acted as the flying crew chief on a B-52 during his tenure. 

“I want to do my job. I have a lot to learn here,” he said of Windham. “My short term goal is to become an expert in patrol duties, and get involved with the community.” 

Community policing is something Dubay learned about while in the Air Force and would like to see that implemented here. Other agencies have started their own community policing teams. 

“Interacting with the community, everybody is human and everyone makes mistakes. I like approaching things from a human level. I like to be fair, but firm,” he said. He looks to establish a rapport with people, whether they are suspects or victims. He said that some officers are aggressive and that’s their approach. Having both his philosophy and others on a shift is a good mix. 

“Windham has grown immensely since I left. As the animal control officer I was shocked by the volume of traffic in the North Windham area,” Dubay said. During the summer, Dubay found it challenging to deal with people from out of state the same way he deals with residents. He found the people from “away” tend to think the officers are treating them differently, he said. Nevertheless, he works to gain their trust for a positive outcome. 

Dubay enjoys the calls that involve fact finding, interviewing and investigative evidence gathering. “It challenges the mind and is a great way of gathering information for future calls,” he said. 

In the future, Dubay would like to channel his love of motorcycles into a position with Sergeant David Bonneau on the motorcycle patrol. “I’ve been riding motorcycles all my adult life and have taken the Experienced Rider Course. 

Dubay has two sons, 22 and 18. His interests range from riding his Harley and scuba diving to downhill skiing and other outdoor pursuits. 

Dubay is finding his footing in the community and has plans for how he can serve Windham and the police department in the future.

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