SACO — He’s been a fixture in the downtown for many years, a friendly face in a police uniform patrolling the Main Street.

Sunday, Patrol Officer Michael “Mike” Tremblay will be patrolling the streets for the last time. After 41 1/2 years of service to the city, he is retiring.

Tremblay, 62, grew up in Biddeford and lives there today, in the home his grandfather built in 1921.

He was inspired to become a police officer after his father drowned in the Saco River in 1968. Tremblay said it took five days to find his father’s body, and the two people who went out every day to search in the river were a family friend and Biddeford Police Chief Edgar Sevigny.

Tremblay started out in police work as an intern for two years in the Biddeford police department while a student at the then Southern Maine Technical College (now Southern Maine Community College).

Tremblay also had an interest in fire fighting, and said he was able to have “the best of both worlds,” by becoming an on-call firefighter in addition to becoming a full-time police officer.

Tremblay said he’s enjoyed his career and the “foot beat” downtown, meeting people, and helping others while also being involved in the community. He has been involved with Saco Main Street (formerly Saco Spirit) and, among his work, he co-chaired an annual car show and the Christmas parade.

“I’ve met a lot of good people and made a lot of good friends,” he said.

Tremblay has been acknowledged three times for life-saving actions and was recognized by the Rotary Club of Saco Bay as a Paul Harris Fellow.

“Mike’s a great example of community policing,” said downtown business owner Mark Johnston. “Police departments try to invent that but, basically, he wrote the book. He has an ability to communicate with all walks of life.”

Johnston said Tremblay was very dedicated to the community and always willing to participate in civic activities downtown.

“As a downtown merchant, I’m going to miss him,” said Johnston.

In addition to his love for people and helping others, Tremblay also has a love for history and old cars; the two often times go hand in hand.

He is the curator of the Biddeford Fire Department’s museum and owns a 1924 American LaFrance fire truck, which he drives in parades, to local car shows, and at weddings and funerals.

“After Sunday, every day is going to be like a day off,” said Tremblay. He said he plans to spend time with his extended family, go to car shows, and travel.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]

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