Several Honored at State Police Award Ceremony
A veteran State Police detective has been named the department’s Trooper of the Year and a State Police retiree was named Legendary Trooper.
Lauren Edstrom of Biddeford received the Trooper of the Year honor at the annual State Police awards ceremony, the first woman to achieve the honor. Edstrom is a 21 year veteran of the State Police and investigates homicides, suspicious deaths and major crimes in Cumberland and York counties. The Chief of the State Police, Colonel John Cote, said Edstrom is regarded as one of Maine’s experts in children’s deaths, in which she has investigated several in her career. Cote said, “Detective Edstrom is a seasoned investigator who has been involved in some of the toughest and heart breaking death investigations in recent years, several involving children.”
Edstrom joined the State Police in 1997 and patrolled 15 years in York County as a member of Troop A. She was promoted to detective in 2012. She currently is a member of the evidence recovery team and formerly was a crisis negotiator, bomb dog handler and drug recognition expert. She also continues to be a member of the state’s child death review board, which meets regularly to assess responses to children’s deaths.
The highest award for a State Police retiree is Legendary Trooper and retired Trooper Michael Vittum of Brewer received this year’s honor. Vittum served the State Police from 1966 to 1986 and patrolled in the Millinocket and Bangor areas in his early career.
Vittum later became a member of the former State Police Drug Unit and participated in the seizures of tons of marijuana being smuggled into Maine on small boats and ships along the coast. Vittum was named Trooper of the Year in 1982.
Bravery awards were presented to:
Jon Damon, the deputy fire chief of Mechanic Falls, who stopped at a crash site on the Maine Turnpike where the driver was trapped inside his burning car. Damon put out the fire with his fire extinguisher and then aided the driver until the man was able to be cut out of the wreckage.
Detective Chris Farley who talked a suicidal man from jumping from the Androscoggin River Bridge in Lewiston-Auburn and then tackled the man from jumping in front of a tractor trailer.
Detective Scott Quintero for rescuing an elderly man trapped inside his burning home in China in February.
Other awards –
The Norridgewock and Skowhegan Fire Departments were given Colonel’s Awards for their assistance during the manhunt in Norridgewock eight weeks ago after Somerset Deputy Eugene Cole was shot and killed. Both departments helped feed and lodge hundreds of police officers who took part in the search efforts.
Four Vassalboro neighbors were given Colonel’s Awards for their help in reporting and helping police end a violent home invasion, burglary and assault in their neighborhood in February of 2017. Honored were Daniel Arnold, Robert Browne, and Ed and Cate Pineau.
Trooper Marcus Reny were given a Special Award of Commendation for administrating CPR to a man who had collapsed in Turner in April. The 61 year old man survived as a result of the trooper’s actions.
Sgt. Scott Gosselin of the State Police Crime Lab received the department’s Leadership Award. Gosselin has been a member of the crime lab staff for seven years.
Nominees for Trooper of the Year received were also recognized --
Corporal James MacDonald – Troop A
Trooper Jason Wing – Troop B
Trooper Reid Bond – Troop C
Trooper Tom Bureau – Troop D
Trooper Taylor Bagley – Troop E
Trooper Nathanial Derosier – Troop F
Trooper Jesse Duda – Troop G
Trooper Gavin Endre – Troop J
Trooper Corey Smith – Troop K
Detective Greg Mitchel – Major Crimes north
And Detective Scott Quintero – Major Crimes central