AUGUSTA — The Augusta Police Department’s badge archive received another donation last week, this time from the son of a man who had served on the force just after World War II.

The badge bearing the number 10 and the ID of Abraham O. Lacasse, who served 1946-1949, was turned in by his son, Bill.

“The chief and I think this completes the collection of patrol badges from the beginning until now,” said Sgt. Christian Behr, who has organized a mini-museum that takes up half the department’s break room.

The area features artifacts and articles from the force’s beginnings in about 1850 when it was led by a city marshal.

The uniform badges along with a couple of hat badges, handcuffs and the twisters that preceded them, along with other memorabilia, are displayed in a large case watched over by photos of the 40 men and women who make up the department’s sworn officers today.

Behr said he was pleased to be offered Lacasse’s badge and identification card. Photos of previous officers show that the department updated its badge style shortly after Lacasse joined.

The Lacasse family has lived in Augusta for years, and the elder Lacasse, who died in August 1996, was involved in a number of local groups and organizations, including Le Club Calumet, serving as the Franco-American club’s president in 1954.

Bill Lacasse said he recently found his dad’s city police badge when he and his wife, Marion, were sorting through items.

“We were going through the fire-proof box,” Bill Lacasse said. “In the bottom he had his badges and his master sergeant stripes.”

His father had enlisted in the Army in 1940 and served in Normandy and elsewhere in Europe before being honorably discharged in late 1945.

Bill Lacasse recalled his father’s time on the police force and said that his father and Edouard Arbour, who later became chief, had joined the force around the same time.

“I knew the chief. The chief and my father were the best of friends even after he left the force,” Bill Lacasse said. The elder Lacasse’s ID badge was signed by Chief Vernard W. Dudley and by Josephine Boisvert, deputy city clerk at the time.

Abraham Lacasse didn’t leave law enforcement entirely. He spent a decade as a “special deputy” with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. His son still has that badge, emblazoned with his father’s name.

Abraham Lacasse went on to become a city councilor for four years, a warehouse manager and sales representative for what is now Pine State Beverage and then director of health and welfare for the city from 1961 until his retirement in 1975.

Recently another badge, showing a shield with “POLICE” framed in a diagonal stripe across it, was turned in by a grandson of Officer Chester Burns, who was on the force in 1929.

Last month, the department was given a badge worn 100 years ago by the head of the city’s police force.

While the department’s collection is behind locked doors, Behr said it is available for the public to view.

“If someone came in and asked, we could show them,” Behr said.

He has organized the collection and completed a draft of the “History of the Augusta, Maine, Police Department.”

The police department headquarters is on Union Street.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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