Former police chief dies while on duty in Pleasant Point 

Former Southwest Harbor Police Chief Dave Chapais, known to most as Sheppie, died Monday due to a medical issue while on duty as a lieutenant for the Pleasant Point Police Department. 

PLEASANT POINT  Residents of Southwest Harbor heard the news of another of the town’s police chiefs dying earlier this week.  

Former Police Chief Dave Chapais, known to many as Sheppie, died early Monday morning after “a brief battle with a medical issue that happened on duty,” according to the Pleasant Point Police Department’s Facebook page on Monday around 2 p.m.  

After retiring from the U.S. Coast Guard in Southwest Harbor, he became a member of the town’s police department for nearly two decades, serving as the chief for nine of those. 

The LT has dedicated over 40 years of his life to public service, both as a law enforcement officer and in the United States Coast Guard,” a post on the Pleasant Point department’s page said.  

On Oct. 17, the day after Southwest Harbor Police Chief Alan Brown’s death, Chapais put a photo of his former post’s badge with a black band signifying his support for those at the department. 

“Lieutenant Chapais wasn’t just my righthand man, but also my friend,” wrote Pleasant Point Police Chief Roger Newell in the Facebook announcement on Monday. “This department will miss him dearly.” 

Southwest Harbor Police Department dispatcher Rod O’Connor has been with the department 21 years and worked with Chapais at least 15 of those. 

“I was pretty shook up when I heard about it yesterday,” he said, adding that he, too, had retired from the Coast Guard in Southwest Harbor.  

After Chapais left Southwest Harbor in 2014 and went farther Downeast to Eastport and eventually Pleasant Point, O’Connor would often travel to that area and visit his former colleague. It had been two years since they had had the chance to sit face to face.  

What O’Connor remembers is how much Chapais liked his electronics, always touting the latest phone or iPad.  

“He used to tease me that I wasn’t advanced enough for him,” said O’Connor who still uses a flip phone. “He was an interesting guy to work with.” 

Service was not the only driving factor in Chapais’s life. According to his social media, he was also an avid photographer and hosted a YouTube account called TheCopKitchen on which he shared and made recipes.  

“You don’t need permission to be creative!” he wrote on another Facebook account under Chapais Photography.  

It was on Oct. 28 around 8:20 p.m. when the Pleasant Point Police Department first posted a notice about Chapais dealing with a ‘serious medical issue’ and asking for prayers. According to followers of the Downeast Maine Traffic and Road Conditions Facebook page, there was a police procession from Bangor into Ellsworth on Monday in honor of Chapais.  

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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