Holden police chief passes away at age 60

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 1:31 PM EST
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HOLDEN, Maine (WABI) - Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley unexpectedly passed away Thursday night.

The department says his death followed a brief illness.

Greeley was the proud father of his son, Cole, stepfather to two daughters, Ali and Sam, and husband to his wife of more than two decades, Donna Gormley.

In addition to his family, he leaves behind a legacy of service to Maine and its people.

Greeley spent the past 20 years with the Holden Police Department. He moved up the ranks before becoming chief in 2015.

Greeley used his position to connect with the community in a special and unique way.

He started Holden’s 25 Days of Kindness campaign during Christmas 2017. It was the department’s way of helping residents in a time of both celebration and great need.

Under Greeley’s watch, the event grew far beyond 25 days and stretched far beyond the town of Holden.

“Kindness is, obviously, very important. I appreciate that quality in my officers and I appreciate that quality in the community,” Greeley told TV5 during a recent interview.

Rep. Kevin O’Connell, D-Brewer, honored Greeley’s commitment to Maine during a surprise ceremony last summer.

O’Connell gifted Greeley with a Maine State Flag flown at the State House in Augusta in his honor.

“He dealt with probably the dark side of people almost every single day. But, he was still able to use the great heart and soul that he had to look at things and make them better,” O’Connell said Friday. “He deserved to be recognized, as much as he never wanted to be recognized. He always wanted to put it upon his people and recognize his team. He deserved to be recognized and I’m glad we did.”

Greeley’s long career in law enforcement included stops at the Brewer and Veazie Police Departments and Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.

He served his community in other ways, too, including eight years as a Maine State Representative beginning in 2002.

Before that, you might even remember him from his time as a weathercaster here at WABI.

Until his death, he made the occasional radio appearance as a fill-in on the George Hale Ric Tyler Show on WVOM.

“As a broadcaster Chris was always prompt. He was always prepared, and he was always polite, and he could talk to anyone. He could talk to politicians. He could talk to players, athletes. He could talk to fellow police officers. He loved to talk to people. But, let me tell you: Chris would do something that so many people should do more of. Chris would listen. He would find out what people were thinking and he would genuinely care,” Tyler said.

Sen. Susan Collins, R - Maine, said she last saw Greeley at the radio station just two weeks ago.

In a statement on his passing Collins said:

“Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley was an extraordinary law enforcement official, community leader, and good friend. He constantly went above and beyond his duty to keep residents safe by coming up with a seemingly endless variety of ways to give back to those around him. From spearheading the annual 25 Days of Kindness, which allows Holden police officers to lend a helping hand to individuals and families who are less fortunate, to organizing a fundraiser for Sarah’s House, which provides hospitality to Mainers receiving cancer treatments, Chris leaves behind a powerful legacy of community service.

“I last saw Chris just two weeks ago, while he was guest co-hosting WVOM. Through his words as well as his actions, Chris demonstrated his devotion to others, earning him the trust and admiration of his officers and the affection of the community. His passing is a tremendous loss not only to the Holden Police Department, but also to the entire region. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Donna, as well as his entire family and many friends.”

It’s hard to find an area in Maine Greeley’s voice didn’t reach or his kindness wasn’t felt.

Chief Chris Greeley was 60 years old.

The Holden Police Department says they will announce funeral arrangements at a later time.

Respect to two law enforcement professionals Penobscot County has lost two law enforcement prossionals and leaders....

Posted by Penobscot County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, March 11, 2023