SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Officer Peter MacVane, a 35 year veteran of the South Portland Police Department, passed away early Wednesday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer.
MacVane served as the department's 'Officer Friendly' for many of those years, talking with kids about his job and their responsibility to be good citizens. He also spent countless hours volunteering his time and energy to promote a variety of local charities.
"He really epitomized community policing," stated South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins. "Pete would come in, do his work Monday through Friday, he would spend his weekend doing charitable work."
"He really was a good mentor for younger officers, that it is not just about coming to work, hitting the beat, and going home, there is more to this job," he added. "It is about make a connection with people, particularly those people who need help."
Officer MacVane was very active with the Special Olympics, taking part in the annual Lobster Dip every year since it was started. He also took part in the law enforcement torch run and even spent 24 hours on the roof of the Big Moose Harley Davidson in Portland a couple of times to raise money for the athletes.
"He was crazy and fun and he was the kind of person who if I said, 'Peter, I need someone to jump into the ocean on January 1st?' 'Absolutely'," recalled Lisa Bird, the director of public and media relations for Special Olympics Maine. "Peter, would you mind sleeping on the roof of Big Moose Harley? And it is only 101 degrees out tonight? Absolutely."
"The things that I've heard that Peter has done over the years has actually inspired me to be a better person," added Bird. "I have never met anyone who has done the amount of things he has done and has given so much of his life to serving others."
"Incredible man. Incredible man who will be surely missed," said Peter Curless, general manager of Big Moose Harley Davidson. "The man just showed kindness to everybody, and it didn't matter who you were, where you came from, what you'd done, he was always there with a smile."
Peter MacVane is survived by his wife and two adult children. A wake will be held on Saturday December 8th from 2pm - 5pm at the Hutchins Funeral Home in Portland. On Sunday at 11am his memorial service will be held at the Westbrook Middle School Performing Arts Center. Both remebrances are open to the public. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Special Olympics.