June 05, 2020

Bicycle brigade patrols George Bush’s estate

KENNEBUNKPORT — Richard Sullivan spends his winters in jail and his summers outside former President Bush’s oceanside estate.

He says it’s the best of both worlds.

“It’s a working vacation for me,” said Sullivan, a member of the Kennebunkport Police Department’s bicycle brigade.

Between May and September, Sullivan leaves his job as a corrections officer in Bangor to work in Kennebunkport.

Patrolling the street outside Bush’s estate on Walker’s Point takes some skill. The road is narrow and cluttered with traffic when passengers jump out to take pictures.

“People have to fulfill their need to try to see the president,” said Police Chief Robert Sullivan, no relation to Richard. “We have to understand that. These people are on vacation, and for some of them it will be their only opportunity to view or catch a glimpse of a former president.”

Police have patrolled on bicycles for five years in Kennebunkport, a resort town claiming Maine’s most famous summer resident as a prime attraction. This summer they took on added duties, enforcing a new ordinance that prohibits tour buses from stopping in front of the Bush estate.

The four officers patrol eight hours a day. Two patrol per shift, one on Ocean Avenue outside Bush’s house and one on Goose Rocks Beach.

Stephen A. Gotlieb, chairman of law enforcement technology at Southern Maine Technical College and a former bicycle officer in Old Orchard Beach, said the program promotes relations between police and the public and improves the health of the officers.

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