Hero Down: Milo Police Department Chief Damien Pickel Dies Unexpectedly
Milo, ME – Milo Police Department (MPD) Chief Damien Pickel died unexpectedly at his home on March 30.
The 51-year-old police chief was also Milo’s town manager, according to the Bangor Daily News.
His exact cause of death was not released, but the town said Chief Pickel died of natural causes, according to the news outlet.
Prior to moving to Milo in 2009, Chief Pickel spent 19 years working for the New York Police Department (NYPD), where he served five years with the NYPD’s mounted unit and nine years as a detective, among other roles.
At the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he was one of many NYPD detectives who responded to area schools to protect children, the Bangor Daily News reported.
Chief Pickel went to Ground Zero after the Twin Towers collapsed, and was later assigned to protect the chain of evidence at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner at Bellevue Hospital, where he also helped to identify victims.
After retiring from the NYPD in 2008, Chief Pickel went on to serve with the Dexter Police Department, according to his obituary.
Chief Pickel joined the MPD as a reserve officer in 2009, and later became a full-time officer, the Bangor Daily News reported.
“He quickly established himself as a good officer with a big heart, especially for those who were struggling,” Piscataquis County Sheriff Bob Young said in a Facebook post on March 31.
Chief Pickel had been serving as the MPD’s chief since 2011, and also became the town manager in 2014, the Bangor Daily News reported.
Sheriff Young said that Chief Pickel had a strong desire to help others.
“He worked to get treatment for folks with opioid abuse disorders, setting up meals for kids, reaching out to the elderly, and reaching out to other law enforcement agencies to help any way he could,” the sheriff noted.
“The folks of Milo have lost more than a police chief and town manager, they lost a friend who worked long hours to keep things safe and running smoothly,” Sheriff Young continued. “Our condolences to Damien’s wife and daughters, the officers of MPD and the folks of Milo.”
Chief Pickel leaves behind his wife, Angela, his daughters, Madisen and Alaena, and his stepchildren, Kristyn and Thomas, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his mother, Judith, as well as his sister, three grandchildren, and many friends and extended family members.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Milo Police Department Chief Damien Pickel, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.