Kennebunk Police Officer Kaitlyn Sawyer  is wearing a brand new badge, a bicentennial badge all Kennebunk officers are wearing this year to help mark 200 years since the town’s incorporation. Tammy Wells Photo

KENNEBUNK — Police officers in  Kennebunk are sporting brand-new badges that reflect on the history of the community they serve, and the anniversary of the town’s incorporation.

Though settled much earlier, Kennebunk was incorporated as a town on June 24, 1820, the same year the District of Maine became a state.

The new police badges depict the community’s stately town hall, the 1820 date and the word Maine, with “Kennebunk Police, Bicentennial 2020,” in blue. Police Chief Robert MacKenzie said the badge was designed in-house by Det. Stephen Borst.

Kennebunk Police officers will wear the commemorative badges throughout the year.

Kennebunk Police are sporting new badges to mark the town’s and the state’s bicentennial in 2020. Funds for the badges were gifted by an area business owner.

The cost of the badges, $3,450, was a donation to the police department in recognition of their service to their community by Jason St. Jean, Kennebunk selectmen said at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Town Manager Michael Pardue said St. Jean specified he’s like the donation to go to the badges.

MacKenzie on Thursday said officers are wearing the badges now, and have the option of purchasing extras, at their own expense, if they so choose.

He said St. Jean, an area business owner, is very supportive of the police department’s work.

According to an online history of the town, penned by then-town historian Joyce Butler in 1996, Kennebunk was once part of Wells.

“By 1799 Kennebunk’s leading men believed their district was capable of taking the next step — becoming a town in its own right,” Butler wrote. “Their struggle to achieve that separation came to fruition in 1820, the same year the District of Maine achieved its separation from Massachusetts. On May 1st the Town of Wells voted in favor of division. On June 24 the governor of the new State of Maine signed the act that created the Town of Kennebunk.”

The town plans a ceremony to mark the bicentennial on June 24. A  big, town-wide celebration is planned for June 27.

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