AUGUSTA – Governor LePage issued an emergency proclamation Friday that will restrict hunting in the Norridgewock area while the manhunt is underway.
That includes the start of turkey season Saturday in portions of Norridgewock, Skowhegan, and Fairfield.
Officials have released a map showing the area in question.
The Governor said it’s an effort to ensure the safety of both the public and law enforcement officers while the search is underway.
It will also cut the number of reports of suspicious activity that could happen if locals see lots of people walking around the woods with guns.
The hunt will be suspended until further notice.
The following is a copy of the press release issued by the Governor:
Governor Issues Emergency Proclamation Restricting Hunting During Manhunt
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has issued an Emergency Proclamation that suspends all hunting, including the start of turkey season, in the portions of Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Fairfield where the manhunt continues for the fugitive who police are seeking in connection with the shooting death of Somerset County Deputy Sheriff Corporal Eugene Cole earlier this week.
“I am using my executive authority to ensure the safety of the public and our law enforcement officers,” stated Governor LePage. “We are heartbroken yet determined to find the fugitive and bring him to justice as swiftly as possible. I thank our law enforcement officers and those from the federal government and surrounding states for their hard work in difficult conditions over the past several days.”
“Residents of Somerset County have been on high alert for suspicious activity and are advised to call 9-1-1 if they see anything that could help locate the suspect John Williams. I ask all Mainers for your continued cooperation and patience during this difficult time,” the Governor continued.
The proclamation suspends until further notice all hunting to include youth wild-turkey hunting day on Saturday, April 28, and regular wild-turkey season, which begins Monday, April 30. The attached map defines the area where hunting is suspended in portions of Norridgewock, Skowhegan, and Fairfield.
Considering the ongoing manhunt in that area, a heavy police presence remains and will continue until the suspect is apprehended. The activities associated with hunting may trigger residents to report suspicious activity and cause an unnecessary police response.
The Proclamation and map are available here: http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/news/news_display.shtml?id=795440 .
The U.S. and State of Maine flags continue to fly at half-staff through sunset today, Friday, April 27, in memory of Corporal Cole, returning to full staff on Saturday. Both flags will again be lowered on the day of his funeral.
Emergency Proclamation and Map of Closed Areas