ELLSWORTH — City officials announced Friday morning that a former FBI agent who oversaw that agency’s domestic terrorism investigations has accepted an offer to become Ellsworth’s next police chief.
Harold “Pete” Bickmore is a Maine native who spent 26 years working with the FBI, rising through the ranks from a special agent in Newark, N.J. to section chief at FBI headquarters in Washington.
It was there that he managed the agency’s domestic terrorism investigations and more than 100 terrorism task forces across the country, from November 2012 to July 2013 when he retired from the agency.
“We are excited to have someone of his caliber working for the city of Ellsworth and the community,” said City Manager David Cole and City Council Chairman Bob Crosthwaite in a statement issued Friday.
They said Bickmore is currently living in the Pittsburgh area and intends to start working in the city sometime in April. The exact date will depend on when he can relocate from Pittsburgh.
Cole and Crosthwaite said the City Council will make Bickmore’s appointment official as soon as a start date has been set.
Bickmore was born and raised in Cumberland. After initially pursuing a career in the fire service, he joined the Scarborough Police Department in 1980 and held positions there including patrol officer, criminal detective and sergeant.
He joined the FBI in 1987 and started as a special agent in Newark. In 1995 he moved to D.C. where he became a supervisory special agent in the Organized Crime/Drug Section.
Two years later he was transferred to the Boston division and served as a squad supervisor in both Boston and Providence. He moved back to Washington in August of 2009, where he continued to focus on organized crimes and drugs.
Bickmore served in Iraq in 2008 as supervisor of the FBI’s first Foreign Fighter Exploitation Team Initiative. He later served in the agency’s Cleveland office before taking his final job with the FBI back in Washington.
In 2009, Bickmore received the FBI’s Medal for Meritorious Achievement for his role in saving the life of a young woman who was involved in a car accident in the Boston area two years earlier.
In presenting the medal, the agency recognized Bickmore for his “quick thinking, his heroic actions, and his disregard for his own personal health and safety.”
Since retiring from the FBI, Bickmore has also worked in corporate security for the Cleveland Browns football team and the Curtiss-Wright Corporation in Pittsburgh.
In a biographical statement he provided to the city, Bickmore said that although his work in corporate security has been rewarding “his dream was to always be a police chief in his home state of Maine.”