McCausland retiring after 32 years as ME Public Safety Spokesperson

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 2:47 PM EDT
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For the last 32 years, Steve McCausland has served as spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Next week, he will retire.

We recently sat down with him.

We'll looked back at his more than his three decades of being in the middle of some of the state's biggest stories.

These are a few of the moments that stood out to him.

"I was once introduced at a Kiwanis Club meeting by saying Steve is the last person you want to see in your driveway in the middle of the night," he said. "That always stuck with me."

Since 1988, Steve McCausland, more often than not, has been Maine's bearer of bad news, giving out information to the media on crimes and fires.

"I knew what to say publicly, and I also knew what to hold back. That department was very good making sure I had the full story," he explained.

Like the explosion in Farmington last Fall.

"It was a huge event, and something that I have never seen," he said. "That complete devastation is something I have never seen before, and I have seen a lot. Horrible fires and major events, but that was literally awe inspiring as to how in a moment, a huge building disappeared off the face of the earth and the firefighters and first responders and that maintenance worker, Larry Lord, how they survived is beyond me."

In the midst of that destruction, there was a job to be done.

"I went up and organized the first news conference right in the middle of the road," said McCausland. "The governor was there, fire marshals, and local officials, and we immediately in the early afternoon of that day started to get the information out and continued to do that for several days afterward."

The same was true on September 11th, 2001.

"9/11 was so unique," he said. "To remind people the reason that Maine was in the focus that day is because two of the terrorists flew out of the Portland Jetport. They left their rented car behind, and there were rumors galore about how they got to Maine. Did they sneak in from Canada? Did they get a boat? No, they rented a car out of the Boston area and drove up the turnpike just like everyone else does."

McCausland says there is one case that stands out among the rest.

"The disappearance of Ayla Reynolds in Waterville nearly nine years ago. That case still is worked on, and she still is missing. I did a number of press conferences in Waterville and here in Augusta over the years. The one thing I can say is that although we have not found her, state police never close a case like this. That case continues to be open, and someday we will know the answers. It won't be while I'm here, but we will get to the final answer as to what happened to little Ayla."