Rockland, ME – Rockland Police Sergeant Matthew Lindahl suffered a fatal stroke on Friday night.
The 44-year-old sergeant was also battling cancer at the time of his death, WMTW reported.
“It is with the deepest regret that we announce the untimely passing of Sergeant Matthew Lindahl,” the Rockland Police Department (RPD) said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Sgt. Lindahl served as a Maine Criminal Justice Academy instructor, field training officer, drug recognition expert, supervisor, and crisis interdiction team member during his 23-year career with the RPD.
“It wasn’t Matt’s training that made him so special,” the department’s post read. “He was a genuinely good man, so proud of his family and completely dedicated to them. He was also the greatest practical joker in the Department, while still being a consummate professional, and his actions on duty saved lives.”
Sgt. Lindahl was honored with an RPD Meritorious Service Award in 2015, after he and another officer saved the life of a suicidal man who hung himself from a tree, the Bangor Daily News reported.
“Sgt. Lindahl was able to reach the male’s feet and push up on him to create slack in the rope thus allowing the male to breathe,” former Rockland Police Chief Bruce Boucher said at the time. “The male was kicking at Sgt. Lindahl [to try to keep him] from helping him. Sgt. Lindahl did not give up and continued to assist.”
The officers managed to cut the man down, and he was taken to a local hospital.
Sgt. Lindahl received another lifesaving award in 2016, when he rescued a kidnapped woman from her abductor after a high-speed pursuit.
The victim survived the attack, and the kidnapper – a career criminal – was sent to prison.
“Matt hated getting those life-saving awards. We mean, HATED it,” RPD’s post read. “He didn’t want glory, applause or even a pat on the back. He was totally content just doing whatever it took to help people, anonymously.”
Sgt. Lindahl fought his recently-diagnosed cancer “with the same courage he brought to the job,” the department said.
“The City of Rockland has lost one of the greatest cops we’ve ever had, and a true hero,” the post read. “Our hearts are broken.”
Sgt. Lindahl leaves behind his wife, son, daughter, “and other family, both blood and blue,” the RPD said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Rockland Police Sergeant Matthew Lindahl, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.