Harold “Pete” Bickmore is shown in 2021 at the Pittsfield Police Department where he was the police chief before retiring in October. Bickmore died Wednesday of cancer. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file

Harold “Pete” Bickmore, who spent decades in law enforcement as an FBI special agent and most recently as the police chief in Pittsfield, died Wednesday following a long battle with cancer. He was 65.

Bickmore had been contending with lung cancer, which he was diagnosed with in January 2022. His death was confirmed by Pittsfield Mayor Michael Cianchette.

Bickmore was appointed the police chief in Pittsfield in 2016, stepping into the role in order to settle back down in his home state after a decades-long career with the FBI.

“Pete was a very professional person,” Cianchette said. “He took the job very seriously, and was respectful to all people around him. If he ever had a rough day or a bad bone in his body, I never saw it.

“He was not from Pittsfield but he had become and will always be a member of the Pittsfield family.”

Bickmore spent 26 years as an FBI agent and was assigned to offices in Boston, Cleveland, Washington, and Newark, New Jersey. He was the head of the bureau’s domestic terrorism unit before retiring and returning to Maine.


Bickmore in 2007 saved a 16-year-old girl’s life after she had been struck by a car while walking in a suburb of Boston. Bickmore came upon the accident as he was out picking up ice cream. There was a crowd huddled around the girl, who wasn’t breathing.

“She was bleeding from out of (her) mouth; she was pretty much gone,” Bickmore told the Morning Sentinel in 2019. “And all I could think about was my own daughters, and I wanted to do everything to revive her.”

Bickmore called 911 before working to stop the flow of blood and rendering CPR. About a minute later, the girl opened her eyes and began breathing on her own again. Bickmore’s actions earned him the FBI Medal for Meritorious Achievement in 2009.

Bickmore was born in Cumberland and spent much of his early life in southern Maine. He was raised by his mother after his father drowned in a lobstering accident when Bickmore was 8 years old.

Prior to his lifelong career in law enforcement, Bickmore had a passion for firefighting. He volunteered with the Cumberland Fire Department and planned to make a career of the fire service, having graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in fire science.

Before joining the FBI in 1987, Bickmore worked six years with the Scarborough Police Department. He rose through the department’s ranks, serving as a patrol officer, school resource officer, juvenile detective, criminal detective and sergeant during his time there.

Following his cancer diagnosis last year, Bickmore took a leave of absence as Pittsfield chief. He suffered a stroke in March 2022 before retiring from his post in October.

Funeral arrangements for Bickmore had not been finalized as of Thursday.

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