She was the type of woman you wanted in your corner and on your team.

Former Old Town Police Officer Debbie Holmes passed away at the age of 63, surrounded by family and friends earlier this week, according to her obituary.

Debbie Holmes spent almost 30 years of her life as a police officer with the Old Town Police Department. She was a blend of tough and gentle, passionate and compassionate, someone who could step into the spotlight if needed but preferred to remain unnamed as she was as humble as she was hard-working.

As her family describes it, she was happy to be giving back to the community she had grown up in.

" The integrity, compassion and innovation she exemplified over her 29 years at the Old Town Police Department had her respected and sought after from people across the community – from the Governor’s office, community leaders, fellow officers and citizens alike. In addition to her duties, Debbie spearheaded an effort to save the lives of high school students from drunk driving through the Every 15 Minutes Program at Old Town High School. This also led to serving as the OTHS Resource Officer, Community Relations Officer, and Community Substance Abuse Officer, where she enhanced community policing, mentoring, outreach and education to area youth. She was adored by students and faculty alike."

Debbie Holmes 2, Old Town Police Department Facebook Page
Debbie Holmes 2, Old Town Police Department Facebook Page

Growing up in the Orono/Old Town area, most of us knew who Debbie Holmes was. She was hard to miss, as she was one of the few female officers in greater Bangor.

Both in her daily work and also in the outreach she did on behalf of the police department, Officer Holmes was a great example of what it means to protect and serve.

Aside from seeing her in passing, with that big bright smile, a lot of my dealings with Debbie were times when she was running programs like Every 15 Minutes. They were tough programs to put on, and just as the job could be at times, very gut-wrenching. But her love and dedication for the people of her hometown, young and old, drove her.

Debbie Holmes 1, Old Town Police Department Facebook Page
Debbie Holmes 1, Old Town Police Department Facebook Page

In recent years, when she was no longer working for the department, she had spent several years spending time with her family and caring for her husband Mike, who was also a former member of the Old Town Police Department.

A special GoFundMe account has been set up, in lieu of flowers, for the continued care of the husband she left behind.

A tribute to Holmes put out on the Old Town Police Department's Facebook Page described her best: A true guardian of the community. A beacon of strength.


As residents of the area were met with the news that Holmes had passed, many commented on what an impact she had made on their lives and the community.

One wrote: " This is Heartbreaking News to our community. Debbie was loved and respected by so many, especially the children who knew her as Officer Debbie my thoughts and prayers are with the family she will be missed,"

Another person commented, "Debbie was one of those people who made our village the place it is…kind, sweet lady who exemplified the best of our community every day…she will be missed."

And this comment summed it up in a very simple but accurate way, in my opinion.

"...Incredible mother, officer, and human. She will be missed by all that had the opportunity to know her and her incredible family. RIP Debbie."

Our deepest condolences to the Community of Old Town, to Officer Holme's brothers and sisters on the force, and her husband, children, grandchildren, and family.

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