PORTLAND, Maine — Col. John Cote, commander of the Maine State Police, said Detective Ben Campbell’s unwavering “positive outlook” helped “others see the light in some of our darkest days.”
“He understood [that] just because he was arresting someone did not mean that person was a career criminal,” Cote, his voice cracking with emotion, told a full, but quiet Cross Insurance Arena crowd Tuesday morning. “Ben would talk to those folks and through those conversations, he would learn that many times the conduct that led to the arrest was simply the result of problems and circumstances within that person’s life.
“His constant smile, genuine compassion for people and his respect for them was evident to those he dealt with,” he continued.
Approximately 3,000 people filled the Portland arena for Campbell’s memorial service. The state trooper was killed Wednesday when two wheels detached from a passing logging truck and one hit the officer on the side of Interstate 95 in Hampden, where Campbell was helping a motorist who’d gone off the road in that morning’s snowstorm.
Campbell’s casket, draped in an American flag, was escorted by six fellow state troopers down the arena’s center aisle following a procession that included police and deputies carrying flags from the five other New England states and all 16 Maine counties.
Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.
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