After 13 years at the Portland Police Department, Jeff Ruth is excited to patrol the streets of the town he calls home.
“I want to be a part of the community I live in, patrolling, helping and seeing the people I see on a daily basis. This seems like a tight knit department,” Ruth said.
|Chief Scholfield (right) welcomes officer Ruth|
Ruth is a humble and private man, looking to do a good days work and return home to his family.
In Portland, Ruth worked in a variety of areas. He worked for four years in the traffic division, he was a field training officer (FTO), was an accident reconstructionist, was on the HAZMAT Team as an evidence collection officer and was a founding member of the Field Force Team, which dealt with riots.
Although he has the experience, he is looking at a new department in a different setting.
“I’m the new guy again. I’m hoping to learn a lot from the officers here. No officer has seen everything. I’m still evolving in police work and hope to learn as well,” Ruth said.
Issues he sees officers dealing with in Windham are drugs, which are everywhere, he said, and traffic, especially in the summer. He described Windham as a “busy, constantly growing town.”
Being in a smaller department has its perks. “It’s a closer knit department as opposed to being a number. Everyone helps everyone else. It’s more of a family,” he said. “People go out of their way to help one another.” He admits he will miss the officers he worked with in Portland.
Ruth graduated from Saint Joseph’s College in Standish with a degree in criminal justice. He didn’t dream of one day being a police officer, but said he found his way there naturally.
He likes calls where he is “helping someone in a positive way rather than ending with an arrest.” The hardest calls he attends are those involving children.
Ruth enjoys golfing, skiing, hiking and being in the outdoors.
“In speaking with the Portland cops I know, they were very sorry to see him go,” said Windham police officer Matt Cyr.
Ruth started his field training Monday night and will continue it for seven weeks before going on the road solo.