Warren Ahrens Leaving Maine for a Grand Adventure in the Tropics

WINTER HARBOR — Some people tiptoe through life. Others are bungee jumpers.

Warren Ahrens, the soon-to-be former police chief in town, falls in the latter category.

After meeting a young Filipino woman online more than a year ago, then falling in love, Ahrens traveled to the country in Southeast Asia to spend several weeks with her. He returned to the Philippines in January to marry her. (She is very shy and didn’t want her name used in the article).

Ahrens, 74, is now back in Winter Harbor just long enough to wrap up a few pending court cases, close on the sale of his log cabin, and divest himself of a few remaining pieces of furniture before heading back more than 7,000 miles and across three oceans to his bride.

Town Manager Roger Barto said the Board of Selectmen accepted Ahrens’ resignation at a meeting March 9, but has not decided how it will fill his position. There are three part-time officers in town — Ahrens, Mike Walsh and Bill McMichael.

Ahrens and his new wife have rented a house on the Pacific Ocean just 40 feet from the high tide mark. They eventually hope to buy their own home when they decide where in the islands they want to settle.

Asked to recall the better moments during his more than 15 years of policing in Gouldsboro and 12 years in Winter Harbor, Ahrens said there weren’t many.

“You don’t often get a call from someone saying stop by for a cup of coffee or a beer. Police deal in personal problems,” he said. “Often you can help them out, that’s been great. But I know it’s time to quit.”

But upon reflection Ahrens, a New Jersey native, did eventually spill some beans on the high, low and terrifying points of his professional life in Downeast Maine.

Most Terrifying Moment: “Delivering a baby in the backseat of the police cruiser. The baby is 23 now. I was probably more scared than if you had put a gun to my head.”

Most Tragic:  “A young friend of mine, and I was very friendly with his parents, was killed in a motor vehicle right here in Winter Harbor. No one is sure what happened… He was just 21. He was a wonderful, hardworking young man. One of the worst experiences I ever had was going to his parents’ house at 6 a.m. and notifying them of his death.”

Most Bizarre: “A man I’ve had a lot of dealings with over the years… swore I was Lee Harvey Oswald (President Kennedy’s assassin) with a face change. I got a letter from him two weeks ago and decided to finally write him back. I said I enjoyed hearing from old friends, that I was remarried, and I sent him a picture of my wedding. I never got a wedding present from him.”

Most Humorous: “A landscaping customer gave me a one-car garage. I wanted it to garage my Porsche. While we were moving it on a construction trailer to my house a half-mile away — police cruiser escort, cones out, building permit — we hit a bump. The braces holding the garage on the trailer snapped and the garage ended up in the middle of the road. Mike Walsh (Winter Harbor Police) gave me a ticket for carrying an unsecure load. He later refused prosecution.”