New Scarborough Police Chief Mark Holmquist knows he has a tough act to follow.

“I’m following a legend,” he said about succeeding Robert Moulton, the popular chief who retired in July after 44 years with the department and 22 in charge. “He was a fixture here.”

Town Manager Tom Hall knew he could never really “replace” Moulton, who he said “had just a wonderful way about him in terms of relating to the community and staff.” But he also knows Holmquist is capable of leading the Scarborough police department into a new era, he said.

He was impressed with Holmquist’s resume, which includes serving for 24 years with the Maine State Police and service in the U.S. Army and Maine National Guard. But it was “the other side” of Holmquist’s abilities that made him the right candidate, Hall said, because a successful chief today needs more than policing experience.

“He’s got a master’s degree in human resources and does some executive level training for leadership,” he said.

Scarborough Deputy Police Chief John O’Malley, who has been on the force for 28 years, said he sees similarities between Holmquist and Moulton.


“Chief Holmquist is a very astute professional, and yet a very human individual, much like Chief Moulton,” O’Malley said. “He has a lot of those same qualities; he’s very caring, he’s willing to listen and take that information in and put out a thoughtful comment. That isn’t always the case in law enforcement.”

Scarborough’s police patrol division has four sergeants, who supervise 18 officers. The department has responded to approximately 33,500 calls thus far in 2021, according to Holmquist.

He believes his state police experience will serve him well in leading the department, but noted he’ll have a role new to him as well.

“I think this job is more community-centric than what the state police role was,” he said. “At a municipal level, you’re allowed to be more proactive, which is what community policing is all about … taking care of any types of issues that are coming up in a proactive manner rather than a reactive manner.”

He hopes to build upon the department’s Operation Hope, which helps those suffering from substance abuse seek treatment.

“Chief Moulton, he led from the front on that,” Holmquist said. “Every time we have somebody who comes in, I try to make it a point to come down, as Chief Moulton did, to introduce myself, to thank them for taking this initial first step in their recovery.”


He recognizes that it is not easy for people to come to the police department when they are struggling with substance abuse.

“You’re really falling on your sword and recognizing that you’re at this level that you need help,” he said. “Our staff, they do a great job in providing those needs and services. It’s a great resource that we have here.”

He will also focus on “fine-tuning” the successes the department found under his predecessor.

“I plan to meet with each group that we have here within the police department to get their feedback as far as where they think our department needs to go and where we should concentrate our efforts.”

Originally from Caribou, Holmquist and his wife of 21 years and two children, ages 18 and 14, have settled in Waterboro.

He works out seven days a week, “whether it’s running, biking, hiking, strength training.”

“I’ve seen the benefits of police officers who are very active, just from stress relief to their mindset coming into work or finishing up your workday with a workout,” he said.

Holmquist was sworn in Dec. 8, after a six-month search for a new chief.

“We’re just really lucky to have found Chief Holmquist,” O’Malley said. “I feel for him having to follow in Chief Moulton’s shoes.”

Comments are not available on this story.