ROCHESTER, N.H. — Members of the community and law enforcement came out Friday to remember late Police Commission Vice Chairman Al Bemis, who died earlier this month after a battle with cancer.
“Today we lose a wonderful public servant, a friend, a brother,” said Mayor T.J. Jean during Bemis’ funeral ceremony at the R.M Edgerly & Son funeral home chapel.
Outside the funeral home, two new Dodge Charger cruisers were proudly displayed. Bemis, throughout his time on the police commission, has pushed for the Chargers to be implemented at the Police Department.
According to Police Chief Michael Allen, although Bemis never called himself a politician, throughout his six years on the police commission he helped bring the Police Department to a higher level. He also always pushed for transparency and open dialogue, said Allen.
“Al had a kind and generous heart,” he said.
Allen said for Rochester, Bemis’ death is the first time that an acting police commissioner has died.
Bemis, who represented Wards 5 and 6 on the police commission, is also a former state representative who had years of experience as a police officer in Maine.
During Friday’s ceremony, former Rochester police officer Tony Macaione read a letter by Bemis, which he wrote before he died.
In the letter, Bemis wrote there is one important thing he learned in life: “Take care of your family, remember to take care of your friends, and especially take care of each other.”
Bemis also wrote that it was a privilege to be a part of the law enforcement family, and the community.
“Thank you for making my job so rewarding,” he wrote.
Distributed by MCT Information Services