Harold “Pete” Bickmore pictured in Ellsworth in 2016. The former police chief of Pittsfield and Ellsworth died Thursday at 65. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

Harold “Pete” Bickmore, 65, who served as police chief for Pittsfield and Ellsworth following more than two decades as an FBI agent, died of lung cancer on Wednesday, according to the Morning Sentinel.

Bickmore was diagnosed with the disease in January 2022, five years after being appointed Pittsfield police chief in 2017, according to the Waterville newspaper. He left his post in October.

Bickmore was born in Cumberland, and served the public since he was a young man. Graduating from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in fire science, Bickmore was originally a volunteer at the Cumberland Fire Department, before working six years at the Scarborough Police Department, according to the Morning Sentinel.

Bickmore later worked as an FBI agent for 26 years, ultimately being appointed as the head of the Bureau’s domestic terrorism unit before his retirement. With the FBI, Bickmore was assigned to offices in Washington, D.C., Boston, Cleveland and Newark, before returning to his home state.

“He was not from Pittsfield, but he had become and will always be a member of the Pittsfield family,” Pittsfield Mayor Michael Cianchette told the Morning Sentinel. “He took the job very seriously, and was respectful to all people around him. If he ever had a rough day or a bad bone in his body, I never saw it.”

Funeral arrangements for Bickmore had not been determined as of Thursday, according to the newspaper.

In 2009, Bickmore earned the FBI Medal for Meritorious Achievement, after saving a teenage girl’s life in Boston. The girl was struck by a car while walking, and Bickmore administered CPR to bring her back to consciousness, according to the Morning Sentinel.

“All I could think about was my own daughters, and I wanted to do everything to revive her,” Bickmore told the Morning Sentinel in 2019.

In March 2020, four Pittsfield police officers filed a vote of no confidence in Bickmore. The Pittsfield Police Association cited 16 examples of conduct and performance it described as inappropriate, including disregarding the union and allegedly letting a civilian employee drive a police car. An internal investigation into the chief found little evidence to support many of the union’s complaints.

Bickmore also served as police chief in Ellsworth from April 2016 to December of that year, before he abruptly resigned.

Sam Canfield is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, and the Bangor Daily News' newest sports reporter. He loves to examine the narratives and motivations behind Maine's most exciting athletes...