BANGOR, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins visited the Bangor Police Department Friday to pay tribute to former Police Chief Don Winslow, who died of cancer Thursday at the age of 57.
“All of us knew Don Winslow and the tremendous contribution that he made to public safety in our city,” Collins said during a brief ceremony at the department’s headquarters.
“He really devoted his whole life to public safety, starting out as a firefighter and then becoming a police officer, working his way up the ranks and eventually becoming chief of this very fine police department,” she said.
Upon learning of Winslow’s passing, Collins arranged to have a U.S. flag flown over the U.S. Capitol. On Friday, she presented that flag and the certificate that accompanied it to Bangor police Chief Mark Hathaway and asked him to, in turn, present it to Winslow’s wife, Dora, and his family.
“This [gesture] certainly speaks to the friendship that you and Chief Winslow shared. We’re honored to receive this on his behalf,” Hathaway said after receiving the flag.
Collins said she got to know Winslow while living in Bangor, where she and Winslow served on the board of Wings for Children and Families, a nonprofit devoted to meeting the needs of at-risk youth.
“He always brought such integrity and wisdom to any discussion. It’s a real loss for him to pass on at such an early age and I know that the police department and everyone who knew and worked with him in the city mourn his passing and want to pass on condolences to his family,” she said.
“I think the outpouring of support that we’re seeing from those who served with him and were led by him as well as from the residents of our city indicates how highly he was thought of,” Collins said.
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud issued a statement praising Winslow on Thursday.
“Throughout his life, Don stood as a dedicated figure of Maine law enforcement and public service. He will be missed,” Michaud said.
Visiting hours for Winslow’s family and friends will be from 4 to 7 p.m on Wednesday at Gracie Theater, located on the campus of Husson University, according to a family spokeswoman.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday at St. John’s Catholic Church at 207 York St. A procession will follow to Mount Pleasant Cemetery at 449 Ohio St. A reception at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer will be from 5 to 8 p.m.