David Tripp has been on the move.

In June, he became commander of Troop D and in July, its barrack was relocated to Augusta from Thomaston, which had been its home since 1940.

Tripp, a member of the Maine State Police since 1997, was promoted in June to lieutenant, replacing Gerard Madden, who retired after 26 years of service.

In his 13 years with the state police, Tripp, 45, has ascended through the ranks of trooper, troop investigator, detective with CID II, senior member of the Evidence Response Team, and sergeant. “I don’t feel this agency owes me anything,” he said. “But I feel I owe this agency everything. I feel blessed.”

Twenty-three years ago, Tripp met and rode with a trooper who rented housing from his father. Until that time, Tripp said he had never thought about a career in law enforcement, having a good-paying job at a mill. Tripp vowed that in 10 years he would work for the Maine State Police.

“Nine years and 10 months later I filled out an application,” said Tripp, who lives in Monroe.

Tripp remembered he was 46th on the list for 42 class spots at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. After several candidates elected not to attend, Tripp was eligible. And he has made the most of the opportunity.

“I do think it was advantageous coming in with some age and some ground-level experience,” said Tripp, who graduated from Mount View High School and worked part-time for the Belfast Police Department and Waldo County Sheriff’s Office. “It made a big difference for me.”

As for the barrack move, Tripp said it’s unfortunate that the Thomaston facility, which has considerable historical significance to the Maine State Police, has closed. “A lot of people who helped make the Maine State Police what it is started there,” he said. “That is disheartening.”

With that said, Tripp said the move presents opportunities. In this economy, he said, any cost-savings that result from the closure are beneficial.

He also likes that the Troop D barrack at 36 Hospital St. is close to the crime lab and that the move has resulted in troopers’ having more opportunity to network face to face with Criminal Division officials and others, which translates into a better ability to solve crimes.

The economy has cut into training opportunities for personnel, and Tripp said a peer development program has been instituted “to train [troopers] to prepare to be as successful as we can be and provide customers with the best quality service,” he said.

Troopers with specialty strengths are matched with others for cross-training and troopers also shadow and assist experts in CID and the Computer Crimes Task Force, then bring what they learn back to the troop.

The troops need all the help they can get, said Tripp, who noted the continuing spike in the volume of calls for service.

In 2006, Tripp said, 24 troopers in Troop D, which covers Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo and Knox counties, the southern half of Kennebec County, part of northern Cumberland County and Interstate 295 from Brunswick to Gardiner, received 8,500 calls for service.

In 2009, 25 troopers in the same troop responded to 13,570 calls for service.

Many of those calls, he said, were property crimes and crimes against people. “A lot of time is being absorbed with criminal investigations,” said Tripp.

Troop D, said Tripp, has four members having 13 or more years of service and the majority of the troop has less than that, many considerably less. “We’re young and energetic and forward-thinking,” he said.

In addition to Tripp as lieutenant, Troop D consists of Sgts. Tom Ballard, Jeff Mills and Michael Field and Troopers Mark Barney, Jeremiah Wesbrock, Jonah O’Roak, Jonathan Russell, Ryan Brockway, Greg Stevens, Eric Verhille, Tim Black, Chris Crawford, Greg Vrooman, James Leonard, Bethany Couturier, Donald Webber, Shawn Porter and K9 Tex, Robert Cejka and K9 Charlie, Patrick Munzing, Scott Quintero, Adam McNaughton, Patrick Hood, Corey Smith and K9 Cody, Luke Cunningham, Elisha Fowlie, Jason Madore, Chris Rogers and Jon Leach. Administrative assistant Ruth Willis, who had worked with nine lieutenants, recently retired after nearly 28 years of service.

Specialties of troopers and sergeants include being members of the tactical team, K-9 team, bomb team, dive team and evidence recovery team, as well as being crisis negotiators, crash reconstructionists, firearms Instructors and drug recognition experts.

In addition to investigations of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assaults, Internet fraud, burglary, theft, criminal mischief, drug investigations and traffic fatalities, Tripp said the troop emphasizes OUI enforcement, seat belt enforcement and aggressive driving enforcement, as those save lives.

Tripp said he is also proud of the relationships forged and good work done as part of the school safety program, in which troopers visit schools to get to know students and staffs and familiarize themselves with the layouts of facilities in case of a crisis. “We want children to be able to go to school and be safe,” he said.

For people interested in joining the Maine State Police, Tripp said the agency is looking for people to model the agency’s core values of integrity, fairness, compassion and excellence. Candidates should have clean records, strong work ethics, loyalty, dedication and a desire to serve the agency and the citizens of Maine. “We are a full-service agency,” he said.

To reach the Augusta barrack, call 624.8947 or 800.339.0819, or call Public Safety at 800.452.4664. For more information, visit Troop D on Facebook.