- Associated Press - Monday, August 25, 2014

HANCOCK, Mich. (AP) - Mike Beaudoin and Randy Mayra have been on the Hancock Police Department together for almost 40 years, and both will retire two days apart.

Beaudoin, who is the police chief, and Mayra, who is the department’s lieutenant and lead investigator, will retire on Oct. 17 and Oct. 15, respectively.

Beaudoin, who is from Ahmeek, said he began his law enforcement career in 1975 as a deputy with the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office, but he was there only 14 months. He left because most of the people with whom he would have contact, he knew.

“In those days, you knew everybody,” he said.

He started with the Hancock Police Department in 1976 after a friend on the department told him there was an opening, Beaudoin said.

“Hancock offered a little better opportunity at that time,” he said.

He started as a patrol officer, Beaudoin said. He later became sergeant, then detective. In September 1988, he became acting chief and fire marshal. In December 1988, he was made chief permanently. He’s still city fire marshal.

After 38 years, Beaudoin said there have been many memorable incidents and cases to go with the routine situations he dealt with, The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton (http://bit.ly/1BkbRvA ) reported.

Although he wasn’t directly involved, Beaudoin said one of the more memorable incidents that took place while he was on the department was the capture in 1993 of budding serial killer David Allen Goodreau, who was eventually convicted of the 1991 murder of Kathyrn Nankervis of L’Anse and the 1992 murder in Houghton of Michigan Technological University student Jodi Lynn Watts.

Beaudoin said Goodreau was captured walking near the police station on Quincy Street after attempting to break into the apartment of a young woman, who called the department saying someone was trying to get into her place. When he was arrested, he was carrying duct tape, a pry bar and a video camera, among other items.

Mayra said he was about to go on vacation, when he got a call to come into the station and interview Goodreau.

“They called me and said, ‘We got this guy who was walking through a parking lot and he has latex gloves on and a video camera,’” Mayra said. “To be honest with you, I thought he was just some other pervert that was running around the area.”

Mayra said he knew about Goodreau, who worked in the Hancock Social Security office, and was a regular on a local radio show.

“I used to listen to him, and I thought, boy that’s a smart guy,” he said.

Mayra said eventually Goodreau admitted to him he was trying to break into the young woman’s apartment in Hancock with the intent of assaulting her.

However, although he had suspicions Goodreau might be involved with the Watts case, Mayra said he didn’t know enough about it to question him about it.

“I said, ‘I’m sure someone from the Houghton Police Department is going to want to talk to you,’” he said.

Goodreau admitted to the Houghton police he killed Watts and Nankervis.

Mayra said he started on the Hancock Police Department in 1977. In that time, he’s worked for three chiefs of police.

During his career on the department, Mayra said he’s been involved with cases ranging from child abuse to embezzlement cases. He investigated the fire at 116 Quincy Street, which resulted in the deaths of four people on July 25, 2009.

“I lost my vacation on that one, too,” he said.

Mayra said when he started on the police department he was the only Hancock native.

Both Beaudoin and Mayra attended the police academy at Northern Michigan University.

There are seven full-time officers and six part-time officers in the department, and Mayra said that means even he and the chief will occasionally do things such as issue traffic and parking tickets.

“We do everything,” he said.

However, as the Goodreau case, the embezzlement cases and the fire at 116 Quincy Street show, it’s not all small-town crimes.

“Things that happen here are things you see in the movies,” he said.

Other incidents the department has been involved with have even received national attention, Beaudoin said, including when a man was arrested for playing his accordion naked in a laundromat in town.

Beaudoin said the department also made national news after it lost the use of its patrol car and had to patrol on foot for a while.

Commentator Paul Harvey mentioned that incident on his nationally-syndicated radio program.

Glenn Anderson, Hancock city manager, said the city council has placed an ad locally and in statewide publications for Beaudoin’s replacement. The deadline for applications is Sept. 17.

“We hope to have a replacement in place by the time Mike leaves,” he said.

Anderson said Mayra’s is a union position.

“That would be posted internally,” he said.

If a Hancock police officer is hired to replace Mayra, Anderson said an ad will be placed for another patrol officer.

Anderson said Beaudoin was a valuable asset for the city.

“He had a great run in the city of Hancock,” Anderson said. “He provided great leadership.”

Anderson said Mayra’s investigative abilities were significant.

“Randy is one of the best detectives in Michigan,” he said. “We’re going to miss him for his legendary detective work.”

Between Beaudoin and Mayra, Anderson said about 76 years of experience will be missed.

Both Beaudoin and Mayra said once they retire, they’re going to take a few months and not do much of anything, except spend time with their families.

Beaudoin said he’s very much enjoyed working for the residents of Hancock, and he’s had mostly good relations with the various city councils over the years.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of this city,” he said.

___

Information from: The Daily Mining Gazette, http://www.mininggazette.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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