SKOWHEGAN — Dale Lancaster is coming home.
Lancaster, who lives in Cornville, is the new head of the Maine State Police Troop C headquarters in Skowhegan, a unit that covers an area of central Maine from Sugarloaf Mountain to Belgrade, from Pittsfield to Vassalboro. He will begin his duties on Feb. 9, and replaces Gary Coleman, who is now the chief of police at Madison.
The lieutenant began his law enforcement career 24 years ago as a deputy with Somerset County Sheriff’s Department. He also served as a sergeant with the Skowhegan Police Department. He joined the Maine State Police in 1984 as a patrol trooper and canine officer in Troop C.
The new head of Troop C rose through the ranks in the state police, and his most recent post was as the lieutanant in charge of the southern criminal division, investigating child abuse, homicides and suspicious deaths for five southern counties. He took that post in the fall of 1996.
Lancaster said Monday that he is pleased to be returning to Troop C and doesn’t plan any immediate changes.
“My ideology is such that I like to go someplace, sit back for a short period of time and see how everything is flowing,” he said.
Lancaster, who lives in Cornville with his wife, Deborah, and three daughters, also said that “living five miles from the barracks is also pretty attractive.”
“I leave the criminal division with mixed feelings, I will always think fondly of that post and the people I was surrounded with,” Lancaster said. “I know the people of Somerset and Franklin counties. I did most of my original training there.
“I saw [the new position] as an opportunity to work with those people again.”