ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Maine native with 26 years experience working for the FBI, including a stint as head of the agency’s domestic terrorism program, has been selected to become the city’s next police chief, according to city officials.

Harold V. “Pete” Bickmore has worked for the past couple of years in corporate security for the Cleveland Browns NFL football team and Curtiss-­Wright Corp. in Pittsburgh. He is from Cumberland, Maine and has always had a “dream” to be a police chief in his home state, according to a prepared statement released by the city Friday morning.

“We want to welcome Pete to the community as the new Ellsworth Police Chief,” City Manager David Cole and City Council Chairman Bob Crosthwaite wrote in the statement. “He will be joining the city during the month of April.”

The exact date depends on when he can relocate to Maine from the Pittsburgh area, city officials said. The city council will officially appoint Bickmore as the new police chief as soon as his starting date is agreed upon.

“We are excited to have someone of his caliber working for the City of Ellsworth and the community,” city officials said.

According to city officials, Bickmore was in the Pittsburgh area on Friday, where he currently lives, and was unavailable for comment. Bickmore is selling his home there and already has found a home in the Ellsworth area to rent, they said.

Bickmore will replace Christopher Coleman, who served as Ellsworth’s police chief for a year and a half after retiring from a 25-year career with the Maine State Police. Coleman had replaced former Chief John DeLeo, who retired in April 2014 after being Ellsworth’s top cop for 16 years.

Don O’Halloran, former police chief of Old Town, will fill Ellsworth’s chief position on a part-time, interim basis until Bickmore assumes his new duties. O’Halloran has been the department’s interim chief since Coleman worked his last day on Feb. 1.

During his 26 years with the federal law enforcement agency, Bickmore worked in its organized crime and drug sections, according to information provided by the city. He has been assigned to FBI offices in Newark, New Jersey; Boston; Cleveland; Washington; and even Baghdad, where he was the supervisor of the FBI’s first foreign fighter exploitation team initiative.

Bickmore was honored for his service in Iraq with the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award and Medal from the Department of Defense. In May 2009, he also was presented the FBI’s Medal for Meritorious Achievement for his actions in saving the life of a young girl in the Boston area.

Prior to joining the FBI in 1987, Bickmore worked in Maine for the Scarborough Police Department for six years, progressing through the ranks of patrol officer, school resource officer/juvenile detective, criminal detective and sergeant.

Having become a volunteer firefighter at the age of 15, Bickmore attended Southern Maine Community College and went on to the University of Maryland, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fire science before opting for a career in law enforcement.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....