Chief Donahue Leaving Baileyville for Sheriff’s Office


Baileyville Chief of Police Shawn Donahue is taking the position of Chief Deputy for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Shawn has a total of 17 years in law enforcement with approximately 14 of them in service to Baileyville. (Photo by Dorothy Johnson).

By Dorothy Johnson

On Thursday, January 24, Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith announced by an e-mailed press release that Baileyville Chief of Police Shawn Donahue would be moving to work as Chief Deputy of the Washington County’s Sheriff Office in Machias.  Smith continued, “Shawn has 17 years of law enforcement experience and brings a wealth of knowledge and professionalism to the agency.  Shawn’s start date is 10 February.”

Chief Donahue began his work as a police officer with the Calais Police Department in 1995.  From 1998 through 2009 he advanced from patrol officer to Corporal and finally to Sergeant in the Baileyville Police Department under the tutelage of then chief, Phil Harriman. After a brief time in the Washington County sheriff’s Department as Deputy, Donahue returned to Baileyville in 2010 as Chief of Police.

Council Chair Tim Call said of Donahue’s move, “We are sad to see him leave.  He has been an asset to the town.  Shawn’s move will be bettering himself and give him a chance to grow professionally. He has been a great help to me in the last few months and we will all miss him. At the council meeting tonight (Monday, January 28), we will discuss options.  Shawn will be bringing us an exit plan and has offered to work part time as we move through the transition.”

When asked if the budget concerns in Baileyville were instrumental in making this decision to move, Chief Donahue answered, “Absolutely not.  The job as Chief Deputy gives me a chance to work in a larger agency.  I will be doing administrative work. I will not be budgeting my time between being an administrator and a patrol officer.  The situation here of trying to do both has hurt the people in town.”

“This is a stepping stone in my career,” continued Chief Donahue.  “I am excited to move to a larger agency.”

Chief Deputy Donahue will be responsible for nine deputies on patrol plus jail and office employees.  At Baileyville, Chief Donahue had the responsibility for four patrolmen and one of those positions is vacant.  According to Donahue, the salary and benefits of the two jobs are “about the same” and as Chief Deputy he will have the use of his own department vehicle.

As much as Baileyville residents hate to see Chief Donahue leave this position, they only wish him the best of luck.