ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. – Harold “Ace” Ackerman, the last original member of the Vermont State Police, died Monday at his home in St. Johnsbury. He was 92.
Ackerman was one of the 19 original troopers who hit the road in Rutland after the creation of the state police. He transferred to St. Johnsbury in 1955 and worked there until he retired in 1981 after 25 years of service.
“Ace was extremely proud to be a Vermont State Trooper and enjoyed talking about it,” said Lt. Michael Henry, the current commander of the St. Johnsbury barracks.
Henry told the Caledonian record that Ackerman met all of the new troopers assigned to St. Johnsbury and he always gave them the same advice, “listen to your patrol commander.”
The state police was formed in the aftermath of the still-unsolved disappearance of a Bennington College student when officials had to call in investigators from Connecticut and New York for assistance.
A history of the Vermont State Police says that the first troopers regularly worked 90-hour weeks, six days a week with each trooper responsible for criminal investigations and routine motor vehicle patrols.
Ackerman was given the nickname “Ace” by his supervisor after he solved a lumber theft the same day it was reported. The nickname stuck.
“I’m so proud even to this day to have been a member of the Vermont State Police,” Ackerman said during a 2007 celebration of the 60th anniversary of the state police.