First woman to win Maine State Police Trooper of the Year award

VASSALBORO, Maine (WABI) - "The four core values of the Maine State Police. Integrity, fairness, compassion, and excellence.”

Excellence was on display at the Maine State Police annual awards ceremony.

Awards were given to troopers who went above and beyond expectations, and to civilians whose actions saved lives.

The ceremony also recognized retired Trooper Michael Vittum of Brewer with the legendary trooper award.

"Quite a surprise, very good! To be honored by the State Police like this is something I didn't expect but very pleasing."

Vittum served the State Police for twenty years and was Trooper of the Year in 1982.

The 2017 Trooper of the Year award went to Detective Lauren Edstrom of Biddeford.

"The journey of earning the title of trooper was life changing. Until I became a mother, there was no prouder title for me. As the first female trooper of the year. I am so grateful for the impact I hope this will have on my 8-year-old daughter Grace. I catch her putting my Stetson on, putting my boots on sometimes and walking around the house. I catch her looking in the mirror. She's my biggest fan."

Edstrom is a 21-year veteran of the force.

"97 I started. And it's been a great ride."

"In her career she has served as a crisis negotiator, drug recognition expert, bomb dog handler, and she remains an active member of the evidence response team." Col. John Cote, Maine State Police Chief, described her time with the force. "She's a seasoned investigator who's been involved with some of the toughest and most heartbreaking investigation in recent years"

Edstrom credits stories of her grandfather, a police officer for 38 years in Massachusetts, for getting her interested in law enforcement.

"The cases I've been assigned to remind me of how precious life is. That no day is promised."

"Thank you. It is my honor to be the 2017 Trooper of the Year."

Spencer Roberts, WABI TV5 News, Vassalboro