Michael McFadden IV is the third generation in his family to serve in the Belfast Police Department. He was preceded by his father, former Chief Michael McFadden III, and grandfather, Michael McFadden II.

Much like his father, the younger McFadden was unsure about becoming a police officer when he was growing up, but a couple of years after high school it was the profession he found himself gravitating toward, he said.

The elder McFadden retired from the department last year after spending eight years as chief. Before that he worked for about 11 years as an investigator, moving between state, county and city departments.

The son said it was never expected of him to go into law enforcement growing up. His father agreed, saying he actually hoped his son would go into a profession with more rewards and recognition for hard work and less drama.

But the former chief is proud of his son and recognizes a lot of important qualities in him that are necessary for a police officer, he said. His son always preferred to work for what he had, rather than have things given to him. “He’s not going to fail for a lack of effort,” he said.

The younger McFadden graduated from Belfast Area High School in 2014, where he played football, Mike said. During that time he also worked at Alexia’s Pizza and taught children to play soccer at the Waldo County YMCA during the school year, his father said. He applied for a work permit before he was 16, so he used to ride his bike to and from each location before he received his license.

The elder McFadden described his son as very personable and able to make friends easily. He expects the new officer will most enjoy the friendships and bonds he will make during his career. The former chief said he will never forget the people he worked with, especially as a patrol officer.

The son occasionally encounters people who knew his father or grandfather when they served in the department, he said. They mostly tell him good stories about his family. “I think it’s nice for the community to know there is a McFadden out there, I guess.”

Grandfather Mike II moved his family to the area in 1976 from Stratford, Connecticut, the former chief said. Three days after moving to the town of Waldo, and before the moving boxes were even unpacked, he was asked to join the sheriff’s department. He served in the sheriff’s department before being recruited by Belfast to be an investigator.

He had started his career in Connecticut, graduating at the top of his class from the Police Academy. He spent 25 years in the business before his death from cancer cut his career short at 47. Mike IV never had the chance to know his grandfather, but has heard stories about what a hard worker he was.

As a new officer, he is still settling into the job. He does not have a plan about where he wants to take his career; rather he is going to see what opportunities present themselves and where they lead him.

He said he hopes the excitement he feels now as a new officer never goes away and the job never gets boring. His father said he had been fortunate to have a career that always progressed and was never stagnant.

The former chief hopes people do not give his son any more or less scrutiny than any other officer because of his name, he said. The family he comes from is less important than the work he is capable of.

“Who he is in terms of a third-generation police officer at the Belfast Police Department is significantly less important than his ability to do a good job and treat the public fairly,” the father said.