South Portland police pick Theriault for top award

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Officer Kevin Theriault has been named the Police Department’s 2016 Officer of the Year.

Chief Edward J. Googins announced the award in a press release and at a City Council meeting, where Theriault was honored. 

“Officer Theriault has developed a reputation for being proactive and thorough in his patrol duties, excelling as a K-9 handler, and maintaining a positive and profession demeanor. He comes to work each day prepared to serve our community and made South Portland a better place to live, work, visit and attend school,” Googins said.

Theriault, 31, joined the department in January 2011, after working as an officer at the New Smyrna Beach Police Department in Florida. He is originally from Fort Kent.

Theriault is a K-9 handler and trainer for the department. Theriault has been working with his Czech shepherd dog and partner,  Trigger, for the past 4 1/2 years, since finishing his probationary period with the department.

Googins said Theriault is called in throughout greater Portland to assist other departments, and has been involved in several high-risk investigations.

On one occasion, Theriault and Trigger helped track and apprehend an armed robbery suspect in Portland. During another incident in Portland, Theriault and Trigger were able to locate a suspect with felony warrants. 

“He’s really made his mark in South Portland and the greater Portland area.” Googins said.

Theriault and Trigger, who work the evening and overnight shifts, have been involved in several drug searches, resulting in arrests and the seizures of heroin, marijuana and cash, Googins added. 

Theriault was selected as the Officer of the Month in May and December. Lieutenants and sergeants select the Officer of the Year from the pool of monthly honorees.

“He is very deserving of this recognition,” Googins said. “He and his K-9 have had a very productive year and have earned this recognition.”

The award will earn Theriault two paid days off, a personalized plaque and an award pin. 

City councilors also offered their congratulations and gratitude to Theriault and the entire department.

 Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or Follow her on Twitter@melaniesochan.