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Community salutes former Tilton Police Chief

Police officers, sheriff's deputies, firefighters, paramedics and tow truck drivers took part in a parade through Winnisquam Regional High School's parking lot last weekend where they were able to stop and wish Tilton's newly retired police chief Robert Cormier all the best in his future. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
March 03, 2021
TILTON After nearly 14 years as chief of the Tilton Police Department, Robert Cormier retired at the end of January and, after giving him a little time to readjust to his new lifestyle, state and local law enforcement officers, fire fighters, town officials and residents lined up to parade through the parking lot at Winnisquam Regional High School last Saturday to pay their respects to him as he moves on to the next chapter in his life.

Flashing lights, horns, fist bumps, cards, gifts and many well wishes were all part of the drive-thru send-off for Cormier. State Police, Belknap County Sheriff's Dept. representatives, local police departments and the Tilton-Northfield Fire Department were among the entourage that took part that day despite a steady morning snowfall. Each expressed their pleasure in working with the chief and assured him he would be missed.

The residents' well wishes touched him deeply as well.

"You're a phenomenal individual," one said as he drove through. "Thank you so much for all you've done for our community."

Others stopped to thank him for "selfless acts" and "the many sacrifices" he made over the years on their behalf.

"You're a true humanitarian," was another of the countless words of praise bestowed on Cormier throughout the morning's celebration.

In addition to heading up a busy and hardworking police department, Cormier was also very involved in the community over the years, bringing a Christmas parade and fireworks to the town along with a fun-filled Downtown Halloween Celebration. Through Tilton-Northfield Rotary he also participated in their annual Children's Fishing Derby and helped organize many other community events.

The chief was also deeply involved in Special Olympics where he took part in the annual Special Olympics Summer Torch Run, both locally and internationally, the WinniDip and their Fueling for Dreams fundraisers. Cormier was committed to volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, too. He not only took part in the Rafting for Wishes fundraiser on Meredith Bay each year, but helped grant wishes for children with life-altering illnesses. The police escorts he arranged overjoyed many of the young boys and girls as they headed for Disney World or other destinations that brought a bit of fun back into their lives.

On behalf of N.H. Make-A-Wish, two of their representatives also joined the parade. Unfortunately, other Make-A-Wish partners could not be present that day but didn't want to be left out of the tribute. So, to include them in his send-off, the pair poked photos of a couple of those coworkers through their sunroof and even had them on speaker phone so they, too, could wish Cormier well in the future.

"This is amazing," Cormier said as he heard their voices.

Tilton police officers, both on and off-duty, also attended the drive-thru celebration as well as drivers from Rusty's Towing and radio celebrities from Mix 94.1 FM who have broadcasted many of his community events over the years.

Excited to see everyone, Cormier told them all that he would miss them as well but would do his best not be a stranger to them or the community.

"It's just been awesome being here. This is a great place," he said.

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