BELFAST — After five years of service to the city of Belfast and the Belfast Police Department, Police Chef Gerry Lincoln will retire on Feb. 22, according to an announcement today from the City Manager’s Office.

Lincoln started his career with the Belfast Police Department as a detective sergeant in 2017 before being promoted to deputy chief in September 2018. The City Council appointed him chief Jan. 22, 2020.

The  Feb. 2 press release said Lincoln, “no stranger to challenges, stepped into the role of chief of police at the height of a staffing shortage, and quickly invested his efforts into transforming the department. He was presented with many hurdles that he worked diligently to overcome. His level head and thoughtful approaches brought him great successes in his role as police chief.”

City Councilor Brenda Bonneville paid tribute to Lincoln in the press release. “Along with City Manager Herbig and my fellow councilors, it has been a pleasure to work with Chief Lincoln for the past two-plus years,” she said. “Under his leadership of our community-oriented Police Department, we have seen many examples of innovative and compassionate policing, paired with the hard work of ensuring that the citizens of Belfast and visitors to our city are protected and safe. I wish Chief Lincoln all the best in his future endeavors.”

Lincoln has led the department through the COVID-19 pandemic. The press release said, “His previous experiences, especially his military training, prepared him to address the ever-evolving challenges presented to first responders.”

City Councilor Mike Hurley said, “Chief Lincoln was a professional, calm, and steady chief of police for the people of Belfast. We thank him and wish him well.”

According to the press release, Lincoln promoted the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and “embraced the concepts of 21st century policing.”

“He treated the citizens of Belfast with dignity and respect, working with the department to create trustworthy and productive relationships with the Belfast community,” the press release said.

City Councilor Neal Harkness said the city and the department “endured some troubled times” during Lincoln’s tenure. “We have been fortunate to have a leader as efficient and thoughtful as Chief Lincoln in command,” he said. “The people of Belfast owe him their profoundest gratitude.”

The press release credited Lincoln with a “forward-thinking approach” that he applied in “… transforming the department.”

“He saw a team of young and eager officers that provided a great potential for the department to grow and address the needs of the Belfast community,” the press release said. “He enjoyed serving the city of Belfast and embracing his passion for law enforcement and safety.”

City Councilor Paul Dean added praise for the chief. “Chief Lincoln is a caring and thoughtful person; with the chief’s leadership, the city’s Police Department has only improved,” Dean said in the press release. “The city of Belfast and I will miss his professionalism representing all the citizens of this great city. I can only wish him the best on all his future endeavors and say this. Job well done.”

City Councilor Mary Mortier said in the press release, “Chief Lincoln served the people of Belfast well during his time as deputy chief and then chief of police, as he guided our department through a generational transition. Best wishes and thanks to the chief and his family as he begins retirement.”

Mayor Eric Sanders said in the press release, “I’d like to thank the chief for his service to the city, and wish him a happy retirement, as long as he keeps me posted on his fishing holes.

“In all seriousness,” he added, “it was a tremendous honor to work with him, and he accomplished many, many things in a short period of time as our chief of police. He will be greatly remembered, and greatly missed!”

Lincoln spent nearly a decade serving as a first responder for the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office prior to joining the Belfast Police Department. In his formative years, he served in the Air Force flying fighter jets at the North Pole. He received his business aviation safety consortium in aviation/airway management and operations from Thomas Edison State College in 1993.