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December 26, 2012

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Standoff in Minot 

MINOT Maine State Police and the Maine Attorney General's Office are investigating an armed standoff overnight in Minot where dozens of shots were fired by the homeowner. Under arrest is Michael Callahan, 44, charged with reckless conduct with a firearm and domestic violence criminal threatening.

Police said Callahan fired dozens of shots over a six-hour period. No one was injured. It is not immediately clear what was the intended target of Callahan's gunshots or how many guns were used.

Troopers were called to Callahan's Verrill Road home around 10:30 p.m. Dec. 21 after another family member fled the house when Callahan reportedly began shooting inside. One member of the tactical team returned fire around 5 a.m., and Callahan surrendered to state police a short time later.

The Attorney General's Office is investigating the officer's return of gunfire, which is standard procedure. Police said among the guns seized was an assault weapon.

Callahan was initially taken to a Lewiston hospital for an evaluation before he was transported to the Androscoggin County Jail.

Cops shop til they drop (for a good cause)

VASSALBORO Maine's newest police officers graduated last week from the Criminal Justice Academy and marked their achievement by spreading Christmas cheer.

On their only free night from training the past four months, the class purchased nearly 100 toys for underprivileged children. The toys, which the officers bought with their own money, were donated to Fairfield Police's Cops Care for Kids program. The toys included Barbies, Legos, Play-Doh and many police cars.

Jason Warlick of the Damariscotta Police Department said the class decided to go on the shopping spree after failing to come up with a better plan to celebrate class night, which is set aside for every class to celebrate their pending graduation from the academy.

Troopers visit area schools over 800 times in 2012

AUGUSTA Maine State Police visited Maine schools 858 times this year, prior to last week's horror in Connecticut. In recent years, troopers have made an effort to visit the schools in their patrol area to speak with students and teachers and become familiar with the building's layout.

Col. Robert Williams said that in addition to the school visits, troopers have trained more than 500 Maine police officers in the past two years for proper response to active shooter scenarios where police confront a shooting in progress. Maine Emergency Management also been involved in that training around the state.

10th Anniversary of Amber Alert 

AUGUSTA This week marked the 10th anniversary of Maine's Amber Alert program. A decade ago, Suzanne Goucher, president of the Maine Association of Broadcasters, and then-State Police Chief Michael Sperry launched the program at a State House news conference. An Amber Alert interrupts Maine radio and TV programming with essential information on an endangered missing child.

An Amber Alert has been issued only once in Maine in November 2009 when a Sanford man abducted his 2-year-old daughter after assaulting the child's mother. The next day, a hunter located the two safe inside their pickup truck on a woods road in Milton, N.H. The hunter, Michael Grant, knew who the two were from news reports and the Amber Alert and convinced the father to surrender.

Grant received a Maine State Police Bravery Award for his action.

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