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Police chief on leave after insulting other town’s officers

November 24, 2021 GMT

BERWICK, Maine (AP) — The police chief in a Maine town has been placed on paid administrative leave while officials conduct an investigation into a confrontation he had with officers from another town.

Dana Lajoie has been chief of South Berwick’s police department since 1986. Police dashboard video obtained by the Portland Press Herald showed that he insulted officers from nearby Berwick, where he lives, when they drove onto his private road in July on a routine patrol at night.

The video shows Lajoie making profane and personal insults against one officer and questioning the integrity of the Berwick department itself.

The town of South Berwick is investigating the confrontation, and David Ruger has been named interim chief until the inquiry is finished, Jennifer Janelle, South Berwick’s acting town manager, told the Press Herald. Janelle said the investigation would involve a third-party investigator.

A phone number listed under Lajoie’s name in Berwick was disconnected when a reporter called on Wednesday.