Biddeford’s police chief will retire in January after more than half a century on the force.
Chief Roger Beaupre announced his decision to retire in a Tuesday letter to the city manager, according to the Portland Press Herald. His last day will be Jan. 25, 2023.
Beaupre joined the Biddeford Police Department as a patrol officer on Nov. 19, 1971, after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force. By 1981, Beaupre rocketed up the ranks to chief, a position he has held ever since, the Press Herald reported.
During the time, he has worked alongside 121 city councilors, 27 police commissioners, 13 mayors and five city managers.
In recent years, Beaupre’s tenure has been rocked with controversy. In 2015, he faced calls to resign after several men alleged that Biddeford police officers had sexually abused them and Beaupre knew about it. The City Council resisted those calls, passing a resolution affirming their support for Beaupre, according to the Press Herald.
Beaupre and the city faced numerous lawsuits over the allegations.
He also faces legal action related to a 2012 double murder in Biddeford. Beaupre and two other officers had responded in late December of that year to an apartment building, where landlord James Pak and tenants had a dispute about parking and snow removal.
Within minutes of the three officers leaving, Pak entered the tenants’ apartment and shot to death 19-year-old Derrick Thompson and 18-year-old Alivia Welch and wounded Thompson’s mother Susan. Pak pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and one count of aggravated attempted murder in February 2016. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Thompson and Welch’s mothers sued Beaupre, the other two officers, the police department and the city, alleging they were partially responsible in their children’s deaths. That lawsuit is pending.