CARIBOU, Maine — On Tuesday afternoon, Caribou Police Chief Michael Gahagan met with City Manager Austin Bleess to discuss what can be done about underage drinking and driving. During the meeting, they decided that Assistant City Manager Tony Mazzucco should be in on the discussion, so they ventured down from Bleess’ office to the City Council chambers to find him.

Mazzucco was indeed there, along with a large group of Gahagan’s family, friends and city co-workers who had gathered to surprise the police chief with a party to celebrate his 40th anniversary with the department.

“I really had no idea!” Gahagan finally laughed after he stood silent for a few moments, hands on hips, smiling at the crowd.

Bleess presented Gahagan with a plaque commemorating his dedicated service to law enforcement from 1973 through 2013.

Detective Stephanie Beaulieu advised Gahagan that there are eight current Caribou Police Department officers that hadn’t even been born yet when he joined the force. Bleess and Mazzucco pointed out that neither of them had been, either.

Gahagan has lived in Caribou all his life and comes from a long line of public servants. His father worked for the city of Caribou for 43 years and retired as fire chief. His oldest brother retired from the Maine State Police after 28 years and now works for the Aroostook County district attorney’s office as a victim advocate. His sister is married to the retired Limestone and Fort Fairfield fire chief and his youngest brother is with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere,” Gahagan informed the crowd about plans for retirement. “I’m not done yet.”