GOULDSBORO — The town’s soon-to-be police chief, Paul Gamble, once saved a man who was intent on killing himself.
Gamble, who was on the police force in Iola, Kan., at the time, was responding to a concerned call from the man’s caseworker.
“We went to his house and then I went into a back hallway that led to the garage,” he said. “The man climbed a ladder and jumped with a noose around his neck. I caught him and held him until the other officers were able to cut him down.”
The rescue earned Gamble a life saving award.
As of Aug. 24, he will succeed Police Chief Glenn Grant, who is retiring from the post to which he was named in July 2009.
Gamble currently is a full-time police officer with the department and brings a wealth of experience to his new position.
A native of Lincoln, he began his professional career with nine years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
In October 2001, he attended the Collin County Law Enforcement Academy in McKinney, Texas.
Gamble also has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and administration from Park University in Parkville, Mo.
His early years in law enforcement were spent in Kansas.
Gamble served two years on the Fort Scott Police Department, three years on the Iola Police Department and a year on the Edwardsville Police Department.
It was while he was in Iola that he received the life saving award. He also was awarded a Medal of Merit for helping to put an end to a burglary ring by stopping a burglary in action with other officers.
In addition to his policing duties in Kansas, Gamble received training in clandestine laboratories, interview and interrogation, wound assessment and evaluation and more.
He returned to Maine in 2009 with his sons, Aaron, 12, and Colin, 10, and served on the Ellsworth Police Department for three years.
“I brought my kids back to Maine for that small-town atmosphere,” said Gamble.
He then accepted a position on Swan’s Island as police chief, clam warden, assistant harbormaster, animal control officer and volunteer firefighter.
Gamble remained on the island until June of this year, when he was asked to increase his on call duties in Gouldsboro to full time.
He and his wife, Jennifer, who also has two children the same age — Katie, 12, and Jacob, 10 —moved to Gouldsboro in 2011 to create a home for their blended family.
Gamble said his experience on Swan’s Island is helping him in Gouldsboro.
“I was working with a fishing community on Swan’s Island and I appreciate what they do on a daily basis,” he said.
Gamble said the most frequent complaint he has heard from local residents is about drivers speeding.
The other calls, Gamble said, are what he has found in other communities — domestic incidents and drug issues, among other problems.
“I look forward to working with other agencies to deal with the drug issues,” he said.
Gamble said he likes Gouldsboro because residents are involved in community activities, and he hopes to do the same with police.
“I look forward to the Police Department being part of these community events as a presence,” Gamble said. “It gives the community a chance to talk to us.”
He said he would like to see the officers involved in the Peninsula School as well.
“Sometimes the only time the children see us is when we are arresting their mom or dad,” said Gamble. “If we approach kids in a place where they feel comfortable, like school, they will learn we are approachable and they can talk to us.”
While he was police chief on Swan’s Island, Gamble said he made a point of having lunch with the children at the local school once or twice a month.