BELFAST — Sheriff-Elect Jason Trundy updated county commissioners during their Dec. 29, 2022, meeting about his plans to staff his department in the New Year. The former chief deputy took office Jan. 1 as Waldo County’s high sheriff.

Trundy promoted Patrol Lt. Matthew Curtis to succeed him as chief deputy. In that capacity, Curtis will oversee the patrol and correctional side of the Sheriff’s Office. The new sheriff told commissioners he planned to promote current Patrol Sgt. Cody Laite into the patrol lieutenant position. Both promotions became effective Jan. 1.

Waldo County Patrol Lt. Cody Laite. Courtesy of Cody Laite

Laite worked as a patrol corporal for six or eight months before being promoted to his current position, which he has held for about six years, Trundy told commissioners. Laite has been with the department for about 13 years.

The patrol lieutenant and correctional administrator are the two highest-ranking positions that are not elected or appointed, Trundy said. Both of those individuals answer directly to the chief deputy, who usually runs the daily operations of the office. As high sheriff, Trundy will act as the political head of the office, along with his law enforcement duties.

“It’s sort of a team effort,” he said. “At the end of the day, the buck stops at the sheriff’s desk. The sheriff is in charge of the Sheriff’s Office and he’s the one that’s responsible.”

New chief deputy

Matthew Curtis has been with the Sheriff’s Office almost as long as his boss, having joined just a couple of years after Trundy. In a Dec. 31 interview with The Republican Journal, he said he started out as a part-time law enforcement officer for the Game Warden Service while  attending Unity College in 1996. After college he was hired as a Waldo County deputy sheriff. Promoted to patrol lieutenant eight years ago, Curtis brings 26 years of law enforcement experience to the chief deputy position.

The chief deputy said he will work with Corrections Administrator Ray Porter to help oversee that department — an area within the Sheriff’s Office that is new to Curtis.

Curtis views the Sheriff’s Office as belonging to the public, he said, adding that he works for the people and he wants to help make the county the best place it can be for the community.