BATH — Police Chief Michael Field was lauded for outstanding service on Jan. 29 when he received the Maine Association of Police David W. Pickering Chiefs Award.

The Woolwich resident, who was recognized at MAP’s annual banquet in Portland, said the award was named for a longtime police chief in Cape Elizabeth. Field was nominated by Bath Detective Sgt. Robert Savary, a MAP member.

MAP represents Bath officers on union and legal matters and has a statewide membership of about 1,000.

“During his time as police chief, (Field) has been supportive of his officers in numerous ways, never forgetting where he came from,” Savary wrote in his letter of nomination. “He shows his support for his officers by ensuring they have high quality equipment, cars, weapons and training. He takes a genuine interest in the officer’s personal lives and is always asking how things are going, but yet has the gift of never being too intrusive when asking. He is genuinely respected by the entire staff at the Bath Police Department.”

Field, 46, replaced Peter Lizanecz as chief in 2006. He grew up around law enforcement; his father was Bath’s animal control officer and was a reserve officer for nearly 20 years.

“I was around police officers a lot, going to the old station a lot with them,” Field said Tuesday. “A lot of them would come to the house. They kind of sparked my interest.”

Field joined the police cadet program while attending Morse High School, and at 18 he began a three-year stint in the U.S. Army, where he served in the military police. Later he earned his associate’s degree in law enforcement from Southern Maine Community College.

He eventually applied to several police agencies for work, and there happened to be an opening in Bath.

“I at first thought, ‘well, do I want to work in my hometown?’,” he recalled. “Hindsight’s 20/20. It was the best thing I ever did.”

Field was hired in September 1988. He advanced from officer to corporal, to sergeant, and then to lieutenant in 2005. The following March he was tapped as acting chief, and that June he officially became chief.

“We have a great group of men and women that I love working with and for … (it’s) like family,” said Field, who is married and has two children. “The city’s been very good to me. Bath is a great community.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected].

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