SEARSPORT — Searsport Police Chief Todd Boisvert is vying to become Waldo County’s next high sheriff. After spending the last few years running the Searsport department, he hopes to bring unity among law enforcement departments across the county as its sheriff.

The winner Nov. 8 will succeed sitting Waldo County Sheriff Jeffrey Trafton, who has been in office since 2014 but decided not to run for reelection.

The Republican nominee came to the Searsport Police Department from Rhode Island, where he worked his way through the law enforcement ranks, starting his career at the Woonsocket Police Department in 1992.

Boisvert spent 13 years working patrol in a cruiser, on foot and on a bike, also working as a school resource officer for a time, he said. He then rose through the ranks, becoming a sergeant working in uniform and in the detective division. He called working as a lieutenant in internal affairs his most challenging assignment.

As a captain, Boisvert went to the FBI Academy, and earned associate and bachelor’s degrees in law enforcement. He oversaw 54 patrol officers, along with most of the department, in a city whose population (43,240) exceeds that of Waldo County (39,607).

Moving north was always a goal for Boisvert and his wife, and they visited Maine often through his son’s travel hockey, he said. When he saw the Searsport police chief post advertised, he went for it and ended up landing the position.

Though he was not born in Maine, Boisvert said he is committed to Waldo County and does not plan to leave. “No, unfortunately I didn’t have the privilege of being born here, but I’m here now and I love it,” he said. “And I’m not going anywhere.”

He would like to do more to address drug activity in the county, which he described as “through the roof.” He said he hopes to form a coalition among Maine’s county law enforcement departments to address the drug activity.

Boisvert wants to go after those bringing illicit drugs into the state and help those with substance use issues so they are not committing crimes driven by their drug use. “We have to make it so uncomfortable that they don’t want to conduct business here,” he said. “And I think we can do it.”

Mental health is another issue he would like to address. He said his Searsport department responds to calls weekly where officers are interacting with people who are mentally ill. He hopes to form partnerships with organizations to help address the problem, which he said is nothing new in the law enforcement industry.

It is the same type of crime he addressed in Rhode Island, though the crime rate there was higher than that of Waldo County, he said.

Boisvert wants to break the county up into areas and assign a deputy to each one so they can get to know the people in that area, not just those committing crimes, he said. “When I show up on a call or a deputy shows up on a call and they recognize somebody … the anxiety levels, they drop for both parties,” he said.

Law enforcement officers have become too reactive, he said. He wants to bring proactive policing back to communities in the county.

Boisvert encourages anyone to contact him with concerns they might have. He said he is willing to have difficult conversations with people about various topics impacting the community because he thinks those discussions need to be had.

He hopes people do not judge him on where he was or was not born and consider his 30 years of experience in the law enforcement industry, he said. “My belief is that where someone is from, where they were born, is a consideration; it’s not a qualification. My qualifications are my 30-plus years of experience,” he said.

Boisvert can be reached by email at boisvertforwaldosheriff@gmail.com.

A debate between Boisvert and his Democratic opponent Jason Trundy, hosted by The Republican Journal, is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12, 6 p.m., at the Searsmont Town Office meeting room at 37 Main St. South. Journal Editor William Carroll will moderate.