Bickford promoted to lieutenant

7 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Police Department has a new, second-in-command to help lead the force. 

Theron Bickford, a seven-year member of the HPD, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant at a swearing-in ceremony Monday, July 10, during the Houlton Town Council meeting. Bickford has been serving as the interim-lieutenant since the retirement of longtime second-in-command Dan Pelletier back in February.

“One of the most important decisions a chief can make is who your No. 2 person is,” Houlton Police Chief Tim DeLuca said. “I thought it was important that if we had viable candidates in Houlton that we stay within the department. You need someone who is familiar with the job, familiar with the community and loyal to the administration and the people.”

The department now has three vacancies for patrolmen and one opening for a sergeant. HPD also is looking for a full-time dispatcher. There are 14 total positions in the department.

DeLuca said he felt Bickford was the logical choice for him to make, based on his tenure with the department.

“Theron has done an exceptional job,” the chief said. “He has met all of my expectations and beyond. He has really stepped up and taken on the department’s mission and focus of keeping the community first. My goal has always been to make this the premier professional police department in Aroostook County. Theron will help us achieve that goal.”

Bickford has been with the HPD for the past seven years. He began his public safety career as a junior firefighter with the Windham Fire Department in 1985 and stayed with the department until 1992. That year he joined the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office as a corrections officer, where he remained until 1995.

Bickford joined the Norway Police Department in 1995 before moving to the Oxford Police Department from 1996-2006, attaining the rank of sergeant. He then returned to the Norway Police Department, where he filled a specially-created position in drug enforcement.

In 2010, Bickford said he had enough of life in southern Maine and began applying with departments in northern Maine. He was hired by former Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin that same year.

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity,” Bickford said. “My passion is law enforcement and this is a big step for me. It is nice to get up every morning and be excited about coming to work.”

As a lieutenant, Bickford said his role would change in that he will now be doing more administrative duties and less patrols. That is not to say, however, that he will not be less visible to the public.

“I think it is important that both Theron and I be out in the public eye,” the chief said. “We are starting a lot of new initiatives. No officer truly knows what the community needs unless they are out there hearing from [citizens].”

Bickford resides in Ludlow with his wife Melanie and stepson Peter. He also has three adult daughters. Bickford also serves as a member of the Ludlow Board of Selectmen.