Outgoing Ellsworth Police Chief Chris Coleman accepts a clock from members of the department at a send-off event for him on Monday afternoon. From left are Officer Amie Torrey, Coleman, Officer Rick Roberts (partially obscured) and Officer Chad Wilmot. PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER

Departing police chief Coleman gets warm send-off from colleagues, city

ELLSWORTH — During his relatively short time on the job — he was here for less than a year and a half — Police Chief Chris Coleman made his mark on the Ellsworth Police Department.

That much was clear Monday afternoon, where a crowd of fellow officers, city officials and family gathered at a send-off event for Coleman.

It was his last day on the job, and the department is now under the leadership of Interim Chief Donald O’Halloran.

“Chris saw his job as more than being just chief of police,” said City Manager David Cole. “He saw it as being part of this community.”

Coleman led the effort to create a new mission statement and list of values for the department, and Cole said the outgoing chief exemplified the integrity and professionalism described in those documents.

An emotional Coleman said when he took the job in October of 2014, his goal was to be chief here for many years. He came to the realization that law enforcement was no longer what he wanted to do, however — his 16 months in Ellsworth came after 25 years with the Maine State Police — and said he had to follow his heart.

Coleman said he does not yet know what he will do next, but those in the room said his skills and values ensure that he will find something.

“You’re going to be able to write your own ticket,” Cole said.

Officer Chad Wilmot spoke on behalf of the dozen officers and two dispatchers on hand for the event. He said the department was unsure of what to expect when Coleman was hired, but in the time since then he both moved the department forward professionally and became a friend as well.

The event was not without its good-natured ribbing of the outgoing chief. Wilmot teased him about his propensity to wear neckties, something Wilmot said he is not fond of, and he presented Coleman with an Ellsworth Police Department turtleneck (attire that does not require the wearing of a tie).

Wilmot also shared some of the department’s nicknames for Coleman, including “Superman” and “Chief Gorgeous.” At 6 feet, 4 inches tall, the clean-cut, physically fit Coleman appears to have been selected out of central casting for police officers.

City Council Chairman Bob Crosthwaite noted that Coleman is highly regarded and well respected, both within law enforcement and the larger community, and he said it was a privilege to work with him.

“We are proud to say you were our police chief,” Crosthwaite said.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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