SKOWHEGAN — Mike Bachelder is right where he has wanted to be since he was a kid growing up in Skowhegan.

He’s now a police detective.

Skowhegan Detective Michael Bachelder, 27, was sworn in Tuesday night during the regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen. His first day on the new job was Feb. 5, and he already is investigating a case of forgery and two gross sexual assaults, one involving a minor. He first came to Skowhegan as a patrol officer in March 2015 after completing the 18-week law enforcement training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.

“I’ve lived here my whole life,” Bachelder said. “I was 14 — a freshman in high school — when I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted the chance to help people and make a difference. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Back when I was in high school and decided I wanted to be in police work, I knew I wanted to be a detective then and to handle those major cases.”

Skowhegan Police Chief David Bucknam, a former detective with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, hired last year, said Bachelder met all the standards required to apply for the job of detective in Skowhegan.

“Mike obviously prepared himself for the process of being promoted to the position of detective and showed that in his testing scores and his oral interviews that took place,” Bucknam said. “Mike’s resume was pretty good. His college stuff, too, which was all for law enforcement, not to mention some forensic stuff as well.

“Skowhegan right now is in a unique position by having Mike as a new detective. He’s young. He’s hungry. He wants to learn.”

After graduation in 2012 from Husson University in Bangor with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice, Bachelder worked as a summer reserve police officer in Old Orchard Beach in 2014. While in college and even after his stint in Old Orchard Beach, Bachelder worked at the Shell full-service gas station on Madison Avenue in Skowhegan, putting out applications for police jobs around the state.

His mother, Mary, worked at the old Ames Department Store in Skowhegan and about 20 years ago went to work at Quinn Hardware, where she still works. His father, Flint, worked 26 years for the state of Maine in the Office of Information Technology.

The Skowhegan Police Department now is back to two detectives — Bachelder and Detective Sgt. Don Avery — rounding out a full 16-officer department, including Bucknam and Deputy Chief Joel Cummings. Bucknam, joined by Cummings Tuesday night, pinned the new detective badge on Bachelder to make it official.

Bachelder said it’s good coming back to Skowhegan to work as a police officer.

“I know a lot of people between high school and my old job at the gas station,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of good interactions with the community and I really like working here a lot. It’s a good group of people.”

As a detective, Bachelder will handle sexual assaults, major burglaries, thefts and robberies, Bucknam said.

“It feels really good,” the new detective said. “That’s what I’ve been working almost half my life toward.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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