FALMOUTH — There’s a new face on the Falmouth police force.
Officer Kurt Fegan, fresh from 18 weeks at the Maine Police Academy, began work Monday, Dec. 21, as a member of the Police Department. He was hired to replace Officer Brad Walker, who retired last year.
Fegan, 26, grew up in Madison, where he graduated from Madison High School. While attending Husson College for three years, he joined the Marine Reserves and was deployed twice to Iraq – to Fallujah in 2006 as a rifleman patrolling the streets, and again in 2008, patrolling as part of a security battalion at an air base.
“It was a war,” he said. “There’s not much more to say than that. It made me grow up.”
Fegan is from a military family and said public service has long attracted him as a career. As a police officer, he said there are a lot of opportunities to grow by taking different courses and becoming certified in drug enforcement, but he added that, “Right now, it’s just baby steps. The main thing is to get my job as a patrolman down.”
Helping him learn the ropes for the next 12 weeks are Officers Kevin Conger Jr. and Steven Townsend, who have both been trained through a week-long program to train other officers. Fegan’s supervisor, Lt. John Kilbride, said Fegan will be critiqued on his progress every three weeks during the training period.
But it doesn’t sound like he expects any problems.
Fegan was selected from 30 applicants for the position, Kilbride said. Of the half who passed initial fitness testing, seven were interviewed before all but three were eliminated, he said.
“Kurt stood out,” Kilbride said. “Kurt came in very transparent, honest, hardworking and a team player. His dedication to service was reflected in his service to his country – that plays a big role with us, the (Chief Edward Tolan) being a Viet Nam veteran himself.”
Although Kilbride said Fegan had “stiff competition,” including applicants who were sergeants and others with years of experience, in the end, they felt Fegan would “be the best for the department” and “the best person for the citizens of Falmouth.”
The department sent Fegan to the police academy and Kilbride and Tolan attended his graduation. It was an emotional time for all of them.
During his time at the academy, one of Fegan’s close friends was killed in Afghanistan. At his graduation ceremony, the friend’s father pinned on Fegan’s badge, a ritual usually reserved for the chief. “But the chief stepped aside for this one,” Kilbride said. “It was a good ceremony.”
Fegan said he enjoys living in the southern part of the state, and his hobbies – physical fitness and target shooting – fit in perfectly with his choice of career. He also enjoys the snow, and said he is impressed by the town’s new police station and likes the people he works with.
And he said he’s grateful he was hired for the position, especially in this economy.
“This is a job I’ve wanted to do for my whole life,” he said.
Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Officer Kurt Fegan stands next to a patrol car at the Falmouth Police Department. Fegan began work nearly three weeks ago, after an 18-week course at the Maine Police Academy.