A memorial service for slain Somerset County sheriff’s Cpl. Eugene Cole is expected to draw as many as 8,500 people to downtown Bangor on Monday, according to organizers.
The public service, honoring the first Maine law enforcement officer shot and killed in the line of duty in nearly three decades, will take place at the Cross Insurance Center at 515 Main St. at noon on May 7. Doors will open beforehand, but the time hasn’t been released.
Traffic on and around Main Street will be closed or rerouted Monday to accommodate the droves of family, friends, and fellow law enforcement officers driving and flying into the city to honor the fallen corporal, who was shot and killed in the early hours of April 25 while on patrol in Norridgewock. After an intense, four-day manhunt, John D. Williams, 29, was arrested and charged with murder.
Heavy traffic is expected to cause delays on Main Street and Interstate 395 before and after the service, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., Bangor police Sgt. Wade Betters said.
“Expect delays, an increase [of] pedestrian traffic and frequent stoppage of traffic during the two noted time periods,” he said. “Please consider an alternative route.”
Main Street will be blocked off for a brief period around 11 a.m., and traffic will be detoured, Betters said.
Starting at 7:30 a.m., Buck Street, the side street on the eastern side of the Cross Center, will be closed from Main Street to Third Street, he said. Police may close another portion of the road — from Third Street to Seventh Street — at 10 a.m.
Bass Park Avenue will be closed starting at 7:30 a.m.
Overnight parking on Sunday will be prohibited at the Cross Center or nearby Bass Park, Betters said.
On Sunday, visiting hours for those wishing to pay respects to Cole in a smaller venue will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Skowhegan Armory at 11 North School St. in Skowhegan.
Cole’s obituary can be read online on the Smart & Edwards funeral home website.
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