My name is Craig Edgar Bryant, and I was born and raised in East Peru, Maine. The 2nd son and 3rd child of Derriel and Lillian (Turner) Bryant. I graduated June 8th 1956 from the West Peru Grammer School. Whereas, Peru, does not have a High School, most of us choose to go to Stephens High School in Rumford.
|Front row, left to right. Robert Knox, Myrna Monteith, Patricia Brown, Eileen Donahue, Martha Oldham, Jeanne Wicken, Pearle Porter, Florence Howard, Gloria Prist, Virginia Robichaud, Craig Bryant. Rear row, left to right. Wyvern Lufkin, John Wicken, David Young, Rick Gerrish, Ernest West, Philip Howard, Jerry Dennis, Wayne Thurston, Richard Knox, Samuel London, Fredrick Miller, Richard Beck, Derriel Bryant.|
|When I turned 17 in August of 1967, I joined the Marines. After surviving my summer vacation at Paris Island, SC, I was assigned to Camp Lejuene, NC, for further fun and games. Later served as a prison guard and military police officer.|
At one time, I was a member of the Rumford Fire Department, and the Rumford, Mexico and Phillips Police Departments. As a youth, I always wanted to be a Marine and a Police Officer, so after serving 6 years (1957-1963) with the USMC, I came home and put in an application to the Maine State Police. I was only 23 at the time, but was told that I was too old for the State Police. (This was before the age discrimination law). I checked with the local police departments in the area, but none were hiring at the time. The only job that I could find was as a fireman on the Rumford Fire Department, which I joined on May 24, 1964. I was also hired by the town as a spare police officer for the Rumford Police Department, with the understanding that when a opening came, I could transfer over, which I did in July of 1966.
Front row, left to right, Darrell Malone, Houlton; Rene L. Lavoie, Auburn; Craig E. Bryant, Rumford; Clarence D. MacIntosh, Auburn; Russel R. Fitch, Bath; George D. Pride, Portland; William A. Fournier, Auburn; Charles A. Frazer, Lewiston; Roger R. Letarte, Gorham; Edward E. O'Connor, Portland; and Toby Tiner, Auburn.
Rear row, Maurice E. Bolduc, Lewiston; Joseph T. Theriault, Rockland; Joseph F. Fournier, Brunswick; Girard B. Lambert, Rumford; Peter W. Darling, South Portland; Stanley S. Poreda, Bridgton; Robert M. Schwartz, South Portland; Timothy G. Farr, Westbrook; Peter E. Kennedy, Westbrook; Joseph L. Dehetre, Lewiston; and Burton G. MacIsaac, Cape Elizabeth.
|RUMFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT|
Of the above members that I served with, Bill McCaffrey resigned in 1976, Sgt. Ray Lizotte died in 1970 while still a member, and the remaining members have now all retired from the department. Ptl. Lambert, DeSalle, Phelps, and Robinson were promoted to Sergeant, in that order; Sgt Wagnis was promoted to Lt. and than to Chief, and Robinson was promoted from Sergeant to Chief.
In a three year period, from 1965 thru 1968, there were many changes within the department. The department went from a 48 hour work week to a 42 hours, 3 officers resigned, 3 members retired, 5 members got promoted, and 7 new patrolman were hired.
Plt. John Howard resigned in 1965, and
Spare William "Bill" McCaffrey was hired to replace him. In
1966, the department went on a 42 hour work week, and the town had to
add an additional Sergeant position. Ptl. Stanley Wagnis was
promoted to the new Sergeant position, and Spare Duane Phelps was hired
to replace Wagnis. In July 1966, Plt. Timothy Ronan and
Thomas Rock resigned, and Girard Lambert and myself were hired to
replace them. Thus, the Department became a 14 man
Gerard is a Rumford native and a 1955 graduate of Stephens High School. He served three years in the US Army, and from 1963 to 1966 was employed by the C.I.A. in Washington DC. He is married and joined the force in August of 1966. He and myself took the police recruit school in Portland in November of 1966. In May of 1971 Girard was promoted to Seargent, a position he held until he retired on December 31, 1995.
Chief Albert Theriault announced the appointment, November 14, 1965, of Spare Officer William McCaffrey, (left) to replace Ptl. John Howard, who resigned, and the appointment, Aug 3, 1965, of Craig Bryant, (right) as a Spare Officer. MaCaffrey has been a spare since 1962, and Bryant is a full time fireman.
In 1967, Chief Albert Theriault, Sgt. Willard
Watson and Ptl. Leo Martin retired, resulting in the promotions of Sgt.
Albin Gestaut as the new Chief, Plt. Stan Kaubris and Bob Gill to
Sergeant, and the hiring of 3 more patrolman. Dwight Mills,
Antonio DeSalle, and Dewey Robinson.
Patrolman Dwight Mills, is a Locke Mills native and 1962 graduate of Gould Academy. He is a member of the Maine National Guard, and joined the department in March of 1967. He received his police recruit training in April of 1967 at Bangor.
Patrolman Antonio DeSalle, is a Smith Crossing native, and a 1955 graduate of Stephens High School. He served two years in the Army, and was a member of the Rumford Fire Department for 4 years, and has been a member of the Police Department since March 1967. He received his police recruit training in Bangor in April of 1967.
During 1970, Plt. Robert Ross retired after 25 years of service, and Richard "Rick" Rinaldo was hired to replace him. In 1971, Lt. Henry Giroux retired and Sgt. Stan Wagnis was promoted to Lieutenant. Plt. Girard Lambert was promoted to Sergeant, and Spare Alan Gerace was hired as a full time patrolman.
NEW POLICEMAN IN RUMFORD.
During this period of time, a few members of the local police departments starting taking Criminal Justice courses giving by the University of Maine at Augusta. These classes were usually twice a week, at night, and upon complication of the class, we were given credits toward a degree in Criminal Justice. By 1972, I found from the way things were going, that in order for me to receive a BS Degree, it would take me almost another 5 to 6 years. So I asked the Public Service Commission for a 4 year leave of absent from the department, so that I might attend the University of Maine on a full time basis. They refused, saying more or less, that they would have to replace me, and what were they going do with that replacement upon my return. Chief John Bernard of Mexico, who had already gotten his AS Degree, and was working on his BS, said that he would hire me, and work me when I was not in school. So in August of 1972, I resigned and went to work for Mexico, and Michael Richard was hired to replace me. The following year, the Town of Phillips hired me as their Police Chief, allowing me to work around my school schedule. In May of 1976, I graduated with Chief Bernard and Sgt. Bert Averill from the University of Maine at Portland/Gorham, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. In September, Ptl. William McCaffrey resigned, and I was rehired as a Patrolman by the Rumford Pubic Service Commission to replace him From the way things work out, they should have given me my leave of absent.
|During the 4 years I was away from the department, (1972-1976), Sgt. Ray Lizotte died in 1974, Ptl. Tony DeSalle was promoted to Sergeant, and Michael Boutte was hired as the new patrolman. Chief Albin Gestaut retired in 1975, Lt. Stan Wagnis was promoted as the new Chief, Plt. Richard Rinaldo was promoted to Lieutenant, and Frank Gironda became the new patrolman. Ran for Sheriff of Oxford County in the June 8, 1976 primary against the incumbent, Sheriff Alton Howe, of South Paris. Lost to him by 588 votes. In August 1976, William McCaffrey resigned, and I was hired to replace him.|
Craig "Bo" Bryant, of East Peru, who will graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Maine, and former member of the Rumford Police Department for 8 years, has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for sheriff of Oxford County in the June 8, 1976 primaries.
The 35 year old former law officer is a veteran of six years of service with the U. S. Marine Corp. Served two and a half years as a member of the Rumford Fire Department, prior to his entry into the police department, and while attending UMPG also worked for the Mexico Police Department, and was the Police Chief for two years at Phillips, Maine.
The Peru native is married to the former Patricia Knox, also of Peru, and they have three children, Diane, Judy and Michael.
Alton Howe of South Paris is the present incumbent of the sheriff's office.
Chief Stan Wagnis has announced the appointment of Ptl. Antonio "Tony" DeSalle to the rank of Sergeant, replacing Sgt. Ray Lizotte, who died 1974. Sgt. DeSalle, is a Smith Crossing native, and a 1955 graduate of Stephens High School. He served two years in the Army, and was a member of the Rumford Fire Department for 4 years, and has been a member of the Police Department since March 1967. He received his police recruit training in Bangor in April of 1967. Sgt. DeSalle retired in June 1991 with 28 years of service to the Town of Rumford.
Lt. Stanley Wagnis (left), will succeed Chief Albin Gestaut, (right), on May 18, 1975, following Chief Gestaut retirement on May 17, 1975, after 27 years of service with the Rumford Police Department.
Chief Gestaut was born in Worcester, Ma., having come to Mexico as a youth. He attended Mexico school and from 1943-1946, he served as a Sgt. with the US Army in the European Theater of Operation during World War II. He joined the Rumford Police Department on April 19, 1948 as a patrolman. He was promoted to sergeant on August 17, 1954, and appointed Chief December 22, 1967, replacing Chief Albert Theriault. Chief Gestaut is married to the former Madeline Zadakis, and they have a son, Albin J.
Lt. Wagnis, a
Rumford native, is a 1936 graduate of Stephens High School, and former
member of the Oxford Sheriff Department for five years. He joined the
force on July 27, 1955, as a patrolman, promoted to Sgt. March 20,
1966, appointed Lt. Investigator on May 4, 1971, and appointed on April
28, 1975 to succeed Gestaut as chief.
| When I first
joined the department, and before the patrol system was changed, we
were assigned perminent partners, and Duane Phelps was mine for all
most 5 years,
Duane, a native of Rumford, and a 1959 graduate of Stephens High School, was hired as a spare officer in 1964. In 1966, he was appointed full time. In 1978, Duane was promoted to Sgt., and in 1988 was promoted to Lt., a postion he held until he retired in March of 1991, having served 25 years.
Here he is playing with the department's new hand held radar equipment that was also used in the patrol cars.
In August 1978, I resigned from the department once again. Sgt. Stan Kaubris retired, Ptl. Duane Phelps was promoted to Sergeant, and I went into the trucking business.
Rumford US Census Rumford Queries
1858 Map of Rumford Some Pictures of Rumford
Copyright © 1999 by Craig E. Bryant
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