Fairfield officials respond to rise in juvenile crime

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 10:50 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Fairfield residents are demanding action and answers after a wave of juvenile crime in the town.

Wednesday’s town council meeting featured extensive public comment after police say last month brought a 125 percent increase in criminal cases.

The crimes include terrorizing, assault, stolen vehicles, threatening, blocking traffic and throwing eggs at people.

Residents say the juveniles charged belong to the same small group, known as “Fairfield Trap.”

The Fairfield town manager says the town and police have been dealing with this for a year, but cannot take further action because any penalties at the juvenile level are up to the probation officer and the district attorney’s office.

”Why aren’t we getting these kids resources?” asked resident Tammy Meunier. “I’m not saying, just take them away and get rid of them and then it goes away. They need some resources, get them in the system. I’m tired of hearing warnings.”

“The juvenile probation officer pretty much tells us what we have to do,” Fairfield Police Captain Paul St. Amand said. “I have had times where I wanted to bring the juvenile to jail because they were completely unruly, and the juvenile probation officer says, ‘No, release them to their parents,’ and I have to. We have no choice.”

Town officials suggested that residents with concerns contact the probation officer and the district attorney’s office.

We reached out to District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, who says she’s meeting with Fairfield Police, the Department of Corrections, and Juvenile Probation Officers to work on a solution.

Maloney says changes to the juvenile statute this year have limited what law enforcement can do.

She will also be at the town meeting on October 12.