Law enforcement officials say it is too soon to tell what the effects of the June 30 closing of the town’s police department have been, but so far residents and town officials report no increase in problems.

Call logs were obtained for Lincolnville Police Department, Waldo County Sheriff’s Office and Maine State Police covering incidents in Lincolnville for July 1 through Sept. 20, 2012, and the same period in 2013. The sheriff’s office provided the information from the call logging system shared by local law enforcement agencies.

For the period examined, there was a total of 307 incidents — calls for law enforcement assistance — logged by the responding agencies in 2012, and 186 in 2013. Looking at reports of violations, including assault, bad checks, burglary, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, domestics, forgery, fraud, fuel drive-offs, motor vehicle theft, operating under the influence, sex offenses, theft, threatening and traffic offenses, a combined total of 45 incidents were logged by Lincolnville police, the sheriff’s office and the state police in the 12-week period in 2012. By contrast, 21 such incidents were logged in the 2013 period by the sheriff’s office and the state police alone, a decrease.

Comparing the numbers of crashes and speed complaints between July 1 and Sept. 20 across the responding agencies for the respective years, there were 21 incidents in 2012 and 13 in 2013, also a decrease.

Residents and town officials said collectively they had not heard any complaints about crime in town since the police department ceased to exist following a town meeting vote to deny all funding.

Resident Diane O’Brien had favored keeping the department. She said the police department, once a divisive and much-discussed topic, seems to have dropped off residents’ radar.

“People aren’t talking about it,” she said.

Cathy Hardy, a resident who supported abolishing the police department, agreed, and added she, and others she had talked to, had been glad to see their property taxes go down because of the money saved by eliminating it.

“I think things are going great,” she said.

Hardy also said Lincolnville is a quiet town where neighbors look out for each other’s property.

She said she previously thought the town might have to contract with Waldo County Sheriff’s Office for extra policing, but so far, she has seen no need for it.

“I’m enjoying the peace and quiet,” she said.

Selectmen Ladleah Dunn and Rosey Gerry both said they had not heard from residents about any problems resulting from the closure of the police department.

“There has not been an increase in crime,” Gerry said.

He noted that there is an ongoing problem with people speeding through Lincolnville Center, but said it was no worse than when the town had a police department.

Dunn, who is the chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said speeding and late-night use of fireworks during the summer are continuing issues, but also said those problems existed previously and were no worse.

“I haven’t heard any anecdotal reports [of crimes,]" Dunn said.

Like Hardy, she said people in town know their neighbors and keep an eye out for trouble. She also mentioned a significant number of residents work in law enforcement, and so are attuned to potential problems.

“I hope the trend continues of a decrease in crime,” she said.

Jeff Trafton, chief deputy of Waldo County Sheriff’s Office said it is too soon to call what’s going on a trend.

“I wouldn’t be comfortable drawing any conclusions based on such a brief span of time,” he said.

When the sheriff’s office looks for trends, it typically looks at a period of three years, rather than three months, he said.

He did offer some general interpretations of the change in the numbers of violations reported.

“There always seem to be hot spots,” he said, referring to areas with more illegal activity, and the areas move around.

Also, he said, many people do not know how to contact the police other than by dialing 911. If an incident did not seem like an emergency, they might not report it, he suggested.

Hardy was skeptical of this explanation. She said she found it hard to believe that after all the publicity concerning the police department’s closing, people in town would not know they should contact the sheriff’s office.

“I think Lincolnville is where it needs to be,” she said.

Courier Publications reporter Sarah Reynolds can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at