Remembering a Local Hero

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Police Chief Mike Milburn was proud of the city logo and the vehicles that carried it. (File photo).

By Kaileigh Deacon

The city of Calais was shocked last Monday to learn of the unexpected passing of former Chief of Police Mike Milburn. Milburn served as a member of the Calais Police department for 36 years, most of those as chief, before retiring in 2008. 

Milburn was born on May 13, 1951 to parents Alvin and Priscilla (Chambers) Milburn. He grew up in Bear Cove and attended Woodland High School. He started M&M Contractors which is now owned and operated by his son. 

Milburn started his career in law enforcement with the Baileyville Police Department where he worked  for a year as a patrolman before joining the Calais Police Department. Milburn’s early life was a bit rowdy which led to a lot of surprise by those who knew him when he decided to go into law enforcement. But it was a career choice Milburn was destined for as he loved the work he did as a police officer. “Mike understood when he started his career that he had a chance to make a difference,” current Calais Police Chief David Randall said Thursday night at the celebration of Milburn’s life held at WCCC. 

But more than just a member of the Calais Police Department Milburn was a husband, father, and outstanding community member. Milburn and his wife of 41 years Lynn had two children and three grandchildren. Milburn spent any of his off duty time sharing his love of the outdoors with his children Missy and Michael Jr. He enjoyed fishing, camping, hunting, and playing softball for Smoky & the Bandits. 

Milburn was more than just the Chief of Police though he participated in groups like the Rotary, the Blue Knights, the Lion’s Club, and served as a city council member for two years. But beyond these Milburn’s favorite time of year was Christmas when he could more for his community. He helped collect donated gifts for children. He made sure each kid got a gift they would enjoy even if it came out of his own pocket. Then dressed up as Santa he went out with a police cruiser loaded with gifts and delivered them. 

Last Thursday night Milburn’s friends and family gathered to pay tribute to his life and his impact on the people around him. People like current chief Dave Randall, Corporal Tim McCadden, former officer Ralph Bridges, and WCCC President William Cassidy all got up and shared their memories of Milburn. The ceremony was held in the gymnasium of WCCC where members of the fire department, state police, Calais Police, and Border Patrol lined the back and side of the gym. 

Milburn’s memory and impact will be carried in the hearts and actions of all those who knew him. Milburn’s legacy is that of giving above and beyond what is expected of you to make the community around you better. In the words of Milburn himself, “If you’ve helped one person today, it was worth getting out of bed.”