Tim Cotton, the Facebook guy from the Bangor Police Department, might consider a career in comedy when he’s done with police work. Cotton was a guest of MaineVoices Live at One Longfellow Square on Tuesday night, drawing a sold-out crowd of more than 150 people who listened to his stories, laughed at his jokes and applauded his community-minded spirit.

Jim Patrick, the social media editor for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, led the conversation.

Tim Cotton Image from Facebook video

The Bangor police department’s Facebook page has attracted nearly 280,000 followers. Cotton writes with a compassionate and approachable voice, creating friendly interactions between the police and the public. To the disappointment of the many in the audience, Cotton did not bring the Duck of Justice to the talk. The preserved wood duck has become the police department’s mascot and the star of Cotton’s Facebook posts.

People drive from all over the country to visit the duck, he said, but its popularity and its deteriorating condition prevent the duck from traveling.

Cotton took over the Facebook page in 2014, with no social media experience. “I was told I was doing it all wrong,” he said. “Too wordy, too few commas and too many ducks.”

Facebook is weird, he said, but it’s more fun than other social media outlets. “I can’t do Twitter. I can’t write that short a sentence.”

MaineVoices Live is a series put on by MaineToday Media, the parent company of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and its sister papers and websites, in which members of the newsroom interview interesting Mainers in front of a live audience.

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