After 27 years, Rolerson leaves Belfast, joins Searsport

By Fran Gonzalez | Sep 06, 2019
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Sgt. Michael Rolerson stands next to his Searsport Police cruiser Sept. 5, his fourth day on the job.

Searsport — Patrolman Michael Rolerson's last full-time shift with Belfast Police Department ended Aug. 31 with an emotional dispatch from his son praising his father's 27-year career with the department.

"May you be proud of the work you have done, the person that you are, and the difference you have made. Not everyone gets to meet their hero. I was raised by mine," Mike Rolerson Jr. said over the radio.

Just two days later, the patrolman started a new gig as a sergeant with Searsport Police Department.

His first full-time shift with Belfast Police began Oct. 28, 1992.

Among his most memorable cases, a murder two years later involving a 17-year-old stabbing his mother to death is one that sticks in his mind. According to a Bangor Daily News article, Rolerson was one of the first to arrive at the scene.

In the 27 years he has worked for Belfast Police Department, he has seen many changes in the community, including witnessing the town's top industries change from poultry to banking and health care management.

Back in the early 1990s, Rolerson recalls, "Belfast was a tougher town. There was a lot of empty storefronts."

"We had the poultry plants, the shoe factory and Mathews Brothers workers who worked hard," he said, "and they played hard."

By comparison, crimes now are less physical than they used to be, he said. He sees more internet-related crimes, such as scams and social media harassment. It has been a big learning curve, he said. "It's completely different than it used to be."

Before joining Belfast Police Department, Rolerson worked at MacLeod Furniture for eight years delivering furniture. In his early days on the force, he worked in dispatch, sending patrol cars to calls and notifying the ambulance of crashes.

What will he miss most about Belfast Police? "The guys," he said. And what will he not miss? "The guys," he said, laughing.

He admits there have been times at the station when the banter sounded like a high school locker room, but he said officers are close-knit and "99 percent of the time, it was awesome."

In his new position as sergeant in the next town, Rolerson will approve complaints, make sure the district attorney receives information, fill in on special details and distribute information to the media.

"I am very appreciative of the town of Searsport for offering this opportunity," he said.

Rolerson also is on the hiring board to fill the currently vacant chief's position. He said former Police Chief Richard LaHaye was very community-minded and if the department can follow suit with similar efforts, it will be in good shape.

He offered a message to his former Belfast Police coworkers that he said only they can decipher: "Tell them, 'Look at my phone' and they will understand," he said.

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