Long time state public safety spokesperson Stephen McCausland to retire – Press Herald

25June 2020

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, talks to press reporters in 2017 about deadly shootings at the town line of Skowhegan and Madison. McCausland, whose last day on the job will be Tuesday, says he has actually reported on more

than 500 homicides, 500 fatal fires and thousands of car crashes over the last 32 years. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Guard CAMDEN– Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Security for more than three decades, is

retiring Tuesday.”It’s been a fantastic ride. I’m honored to have actually been the messenger for the males and lady of public security,” McCausland said during an interview Thursday.

McCausland grew up in Brunswick. He worked for 8 years as news director for Bath radio station WJTO. After radio, he sold insurance for a decade.

Then the public safety information officer position opened and he used. He had requested the exact same job a decade earlier but wasn’t employed.

Over 32 years on the task, he has reported on more than 500 homicides, 500 fatal fires and thousands of car crashes, he said.

But a law enforcement case from the fall of 1975, when he was a news director for a radio station, may have been the most unforgettable he has actually been associated with, he said.

He and a Rockland-based newspaper press reporter interviewed three Maine State Prison prisoners who were holding a guard at knife-point inside a wing of the old Maine State Prison.

To get to the interview, he and the late Bangor Daily News Bureau Chief Ted Sylvester needed to step over the body of an inmate who had actually been eliminated throughout the jail uprising.

As a reporter, McCausland stated, he had become familiar with law enforcement, covering crimes, fatal fires, and auto accident.

“I took a look at myself and I thought I might contribute,” McCausland stated.

Cases that stand out to McCausland throughout his time with the general public safety department consist of the 2003 arsenic poisonings at a church in New Sweden, the automobile crash along the Allagash waterway in 2002 that killed 14 migrant employees, and the gas explosion in Farmington last fall that eliminated a firefighter and seriously injured a number of more.

But topping them all was the disappearance of toddler Ayla Reynolds in Waterville in 2011, which triggered the biggest authorities examination ever performed in Maine and remains active. The child has never been discovered.

Ayla was 20 months old and staying with her father, Justin DiPietro, at his mom’s home in Waterville when he reported her missing on Dec. 17, 2011.

DiPietro rejects he had anything to do with Ayla’s disappearance and he has never ever been charged. In September 2017, a probate judge ruled that the kid was dead, opening up the right of the child’s mom, Trista Reynolds, to submit a wrongful death lawsuit against DiPetro.

“I had hoped I would make the announcement of the case being solved. However it will be resolved one day,” McCausland stated.

Technology has actually altered the job, he stated. He recalled there was no facsimile machine in the public security workplace when he was worked with. He was informed to buy one.

The fax postured some consternation with members of the media because he could just fax to one news organization at a time. He said it might take 10 minutes to send out a fax to all reporters requesting one.

In the 1990s, came personal computers in which press release might be sent via email. Now, in addition to emails, there are social media posts.

McCausland has had a front seat view to media changes over the previous 50 years. There are less newspapers, and fewer reporters both in print and television. There also use to be lots of radio stations with strong newsrooms, today radio newsrooms are virtually gone.

As for the future, McCausland, who transferred to Camden three years earlier, said he anticipates spending the summer season on a lake without getting phone call throughout the day and night.


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