BELFAST — The public is invited to meet Bangor Police Detective Tim Cotton to celebrate the release of his new book, The Detective in the Dooryard: Reflections of a Maine Cop on Saturday, July 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Left Bank Books in downtown Belfast.
Weather permitting, Left Bank will host the “meet and greet” under the awnings outside of the shop. (“If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll move inside, said the store, in a news release.)
Social distancing, masks, and plenty of hand sanitizer will be an integral part of the event, inside or out, the release said.
Cotton has always been drawn to the stories of the people he has met in his more than 30 years as a police officer, but didn’t start writing regularly until 2014, when a job promotion required him to take over the Bangor Police Department’s Facebook page.
At that time, the page had fewer than 10,000 followers; today, it has more than 300,000 “likes.”
Cotton, who has always enjoyed reading humor writers like Dave Barry and Art Buchwald, writes with a gently sarcastic, self-deprecating style that has clearly struck a chord with people from all over the world, according to LBB.
Detective in the Dooryard is a compilation of some 60 essays that Cotton has written for Facebook over the years. They are stories about the people, places, and things of Maine. There are sad stories, big events, and
even the mundane, all told from the perspective of a seasoned police officer and in the wry voice of a lifelong Mainer.
As he readily points out, though, Cotton is not the star of the department’s Facebook page, according to LBB. That honor goes to a stuffed duck that Cotton rescued from a trashcan in the District Attorney’s office in 2009.
He writes, “The duck spent the next few years...in my cubicle tucked in the back corner of the Criminal Investigation Division. He sat as proudly as a dilapidated duck can while perched on an Army-green filing cabinet, staring out the window with nothing but a sliver of a view of the mighty Penobscot River and the U-Haul truck rental and storage facility that blocked the rest of what could have been a very comforting panorama, to a duck.”
When Cotton started slipping photos of the duck onto the department’s Facebook page, the duck buzz started. (“I knew nothing about social media,” Cotton writes, “but I knew that oddities could sometimes create a buzz.”)
When the duck became the page’s mascot, he was christened the Duck of Justice and a star was born. He has been featured on the websites of People magazine, The Washington Post, NPR, as well as many other sites.
Cotton’s writing has been published in newspapers, magazines, and on websites, including CarTalk.com. He also hosts a regular podcast on the website of the Blauer company (which manufactures apparel for public safety personnel). Cotton can be found on the @TimCottonWrites Facebook page.
No reservations are necessary for this event. To reserve or purchase copies of Detective in the Dooryard in advance, email (email@example.com) or call (207-338-9009).
Left Bank Books is located at 109 Church St. in the historic Opera House building, across the street from the Belfast Police Department. Ample parking is available on the street and in an adjacent public parking lot.