BANGOR, Maine — After a nearly four-decade career in law enforcement, Bangor police Officer Dan Herrick is hanging up his helmet.
His last day as a Bangor Police Department patrol officer and arguably the department’s most avid motorcycle cop is Thursday.
“It’s been a good haul,” Herrick said Wednesday afternoon in a telephone interview.
“I’ve enjoyed being a patrol officer. To be paid to ride a Harley around has been a real plus,” he said with a chuckle.
He added, however, “It’s not just riding a motorcycle. It’s also doing police work on a motorcycle,” citing traffic stops and other tasks as among that work. “You have to pay attention to everything that’s going on in your periphery.”
On Wednesday, Herrick talked about his retirement and reflected on his career.
“At 56 years old, I thought it might be time to enjoy life. And my wife [Melissa Herrick, an air traffic controller at Bangor International Airport] is retiring on the same day.”
“We’re timing it right,” he said. “We enjoy doing things together and we happened to have the opportunity to retire at the same time, while we are still in good health.”
Herrick embarked on his career 38½ years ago as a police officer with the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Wednesday in a news release about Herrick’s retirement.
After working for the Bar Harbor Police Department — where he served as chief for six years — and Mount Desert Police Department, Herrick signed on with Bangor in August 1994. He has patrolled the city streets ever since, sometimes in a police cruiser and sometimes on the department’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Herrick said he and his wife plan to divide their time between Maine and Florida, where they own an interest in a house. Both avid skiers, the pair hope to travel to such ski-friendly venues as Utah and Colorado.
A licensed pilot and airplane owner, Herrick also plans to continue his volunteer gig flying patients to and from medical facilities through Angel Flights. Melissa Herrick, who is a Maine Guide and sports photographer, is working toward a pilot’s licence of her own, he said.
“Pirate Dan, as we like to call him, spent his career at Bangor PD in the patrol division by choice, and will always be remembered as one of the department’s most enthusiastic motorcycle officers,” Edwards said in his news release.
Edwards said Herrick — and his helmet — will be retired Thursday morning during a reception at the police station.
“I hope I’ve influenced and helped people along the way,” Herrick said. “I’ve enjoyed the job and tried to keep a sense of humor. I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve worked with.”