Update: The election warden who turned the officer away has been dismissed, and the Bangor police chief has stated at a press conference that officers are not required to surrender their weapon at the polls.
BANGOR, Maine — In the 18 years that he has been a police officer in Bangor, James Dearing couldn’t think of a single time when someone has asked him to turn over his firearm.
Until last Friday.
Dearing, who was patrolling his assigned beat near the Bangor Civic Center, decided to stop in and cast an early vote. He walked into the polling place in full uniform and stood in a short line with other voters.
One of the election officials told Dearing he couldn’t bring his gun inside. The officer said he thought it was a joke.
Election warden Wayne Mallar then approached Dearing and reiterated the request: Turn over your weapon to another officer or we can’t let you
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