After 35 years, last shift nears for Lt. Madura

Bridgton Police Lt. Peter Madura

Bridgton Police Lt. Peter Madura

By Gail Geraghty
Staff Writer
The accolades have been flooding into the Bridgton Police Department’s Facebook page since the news broke that one of the “last of the great ones,” Lt. Peter Madura, is retiring after 35 years.
“I hope you remember you are the last of the great ones. Love MR. PETE,” said one resident/fan, Laura McCabe. “Neither the town nor the police department will be the same without him,” said another resident, Jason Rowles. “A great example of a man.”
Madura’s last day will be Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, and an informal gathering will be held in the Bridgton Municipal Complex on that day for residents and area law enforcement officers to stop by and wish him well.
The department has begun advertising to hire a new full-time patrol officer as Madura’s departure allows for a restructuring of its ranks. Police Chief Kevin Schofield said his goal is to eliminate the lieutenant’s position and promote a sergeant from within the ranks of the department’s six patrol officers.
That way, Madura’s replacement would be more of a front-line supervisor who would have both administrative and patrol responsibilities, he said. Schofield said Madura has been “a huge asset to me” since he became chief four years ago, and will be sorely missed.
“Without Peter, my transition wouldn’t have been as smooth and as easy as it was,” said Schofield, adding that it’s hard to quantify the value of an officer who has as much institutional knowledge as Madura has. “The townspeople are going to miss him as well.”
Madura's law enforcement career at BPD began in 1968 as a Special Police Officer, working summers patrolling the Bridgton Drive-In. He worked as a part-time officer from 1969 to 1972. From 1972 to 1976 he was a part-time Deputy Sheriff and full-time Civil Deputy for the Oxford County Sheriff's Department, becoming a full-time Deputy Sheriff in 1976 until 1980. On April 3, 1980, Peter was sworn in as a full-time Bridgton Police Officer and it has been his home ever since.
“He will have had 40 years of service in law enforcement when he finally hangs up his hat, gun and gun belt,” Schofield said. 
"I want to thank the citizens of Bridgton for everything they have done for me over the years, I made a lot of friends,” Madura said on the Facebook page. “I have very much enjoyed my time here at this department and I am looking forward to my next adventure."

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