Odds are, if you know Ron Saindon, something bad has happened to you.
Saindon, USM Police Department’s detective, deals with students who have been victims or perpetrators of all potential crimes on campus. Working from a windowless room in the basement of Gorham’s Upton Hall, Saindon reviews 45 to 60 cases each month.
Last month, Saindon was promoted from detective to detective sergeant.
It was Lt. Richard Lincoln’s idea. Lincoln has been Saindon’s supervisor since Saindon joined the force nine years ago. He proposed the promotion not because a sergeant’s position opened, but based solely on the duties and quality of Saindon’s work.
“He has excellent investigation skills and communicates extremely well with everyone,” said Lincoln. Saindon was promoted because he was already “making decisions” and involved in training new officers, said Lincoln, adding that the promotion will not involve much change in his duties.
To say that Saindon is humble about his work would be an understatement.
Several times, he hinted that he didn’t think his promotion was newsworthy. He pointed to his colleague, Lt. Jim Stanhope, who was recently nominated for a Distinguished Classified Staff Award, and quickly shifted credit for his promotion to his coworkers.
“Any success I have here in terms of promotion is directly related to leadership in the department and the fact that I’m surrounded by very dedicated professionals who have a very strong commitment to quality of life here at USM,” said Saindon. “It’s easy to do a good job.”
Chief Lisa Beecher said his humility, attention to detail, compassion for the University and love of his work all make him a quality cop.
“He doesn’t have a personal agenda,” said Beecher. ” . [He] doesn’t like to toot his own horn. In fact, I’ve never heard him do that. He just likes to come in and do the best job he can without a lot of accolades.”
Saindon said he always wanted to be a cop because his father is one. After serving three years in the Army doing military police work and traveling as far as Asia, Saindon returned home and became a patrol deputy for the Sagadahoc Sheriff’s Department. He worked as a patrol officer for the Topsham Police before joining USM Police. It adds up to 19 years of experience.
Dedication appears to be a family trait. His father, now in his mid-70s, still works part-time for the Topsham Police doing corrections work and prisoner transport.
Steve Nelson, assistant to the vice president of Community Standards, meets with Saindon once or twice a week. Nelson conducts all on-campus disciplinary hearings and receives about 10 cases each week from Saindon.
Nelson said he is impressed with Saindon’s dedication, using trips to district court as an example. In the case of accompanying a victim to court, Nelson said, “He’s willing to drive her down to get protection orders . he’ll actually drive you down, and sit there for three hours while [he and the victim] wait for a judge.”
Nelson also finds Saindon extremely fair.
“He plays straight with students,” he said.
“I think it’s important that law enforcement is thorough,” said Saindon. ” . If you’re fair and impartial and yet understanding, people will understand . even if they’re on the accused end of it.”
Staff Writer Chris Baker can be contacted at: [email protected]