Corbett named police Officer of the Year in South Portland

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SOUTH PORTLAND — An eye for detail and a thorough approach have earned Patrolman Scott Corbett the honor of Officer of the Year for the second time.

Corbett’s Police Department superiors chose him from a list including the other officers who had been named Officer of the Month in 2011. He received two paid days off, a pin to wear on his uniform and a commemorative plaque from the City Council.

“He is a perfect example of the high-caliber personnel we have in the department,” Police Chief Ed Googins said Wednesday. “It’s a well-deserved award.”

Googins said Corbett and his police dog, Harley, served with distinction in 2011.

Among other things, Corbett developed a method for identifying phony automobile inspection stickers. The system led to an increase in fake inspection charges, Googins said, and Corbett has shared the technique with other law enforcement agencies.

The chief also recalled an incident in January 2011 when Corbett was on patrol and saw a man standing outside a convenience store. The man’s jacket matched one in the description of a robbery suspect that Corbett read days before. The officer questioned the man.

“This case was closed because Scott remembered a small detail from an email and remembered the jacket as he drove by,” Googins said. “The man ended up admitting to the robbery, all because of Scott’s good memory. That’s great police work.”

The chief said Corbett even works when he’s off-duty, calling in tips to South Portland and other departments.

“The only time crooks are safe in this community is when Scott is here,” Googins said during a ceremony at City Hall on Monday. Corbett said little at the ceremony, simply thanking his parents and the department.

Corbett joined the department in August 1998. He and Harley have aided in several drug busts, according to a press release. He is a member of the Southern Maine Regional SWAT Team, and was also Officer of the Year in 2007.

Corbett was born and raised in South Portland. His brother Peter Corbett is also a police officer in the city. 

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow him on Twitter: @riocarmine.

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Patrolman Scott Corbett

Retirements, promotion at SPPD

In other personnel news at the South Portland Police Department:

• Officer Kevin Battle retired Jan. 5 after 26 years of service.

• Sgt. Joseph Dell’Aquila retired Feb. 2 after 26 years of service.

• Lt. Christopher Cook will retire Feb. 29 after 35 years of service.

• Officer Adam Howard was promoted to the rank of sergeant on Feb. 8 after 26 years with the SPPD. Howard is firearms instructor for the department and was Officer of the Year in 1996 and 2010.