The 34-year veteran police officer took over the duties of Public Information Officer in 2014 after he mistakenly walked into the Sergeant’s Exam after he was tricked into believing it was a birthday party and that cake was being served. Updating Facebook was part of the deal.
Cotton started out his post-teen years as a disc jockey, then as news director at Bangor’s Stephen King owned WZON radio after attending the New England School of Communications in the 80s. He made the decision to become a police officer mainly because the hours seemed better and he hated trying to figure out what to wear each day.
He took over the Department’s Facebook page in the spring of 2014 with a following of 9,000. The page now has reached 331,000 followers. He has been featured in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, People Magazine, National Public Radio, Ad Age, and American Police Beat magazines, numerous blog posts, and many television and radio programs. Many social media professionals still call him to tell him he is doing it all wrong. He listens, because people feel better when they can vent.
The Marginally World Famous Bangor Police Department Duck of Justice—now in the police department museum—has drawn visitors to the lobby of the Bangor Police Department from all over America and twenty-seven other countries. Public Acceptance is a byproduct of successfully presented social media content.
Cotton was promoted to Lieutenant in 2017 and took over the duties as the commander of the criminal investigation division. He later transferred to the Services Division but still handled all Facebook duties because no one else wanted to do it. He retired this past summer because it was time. He still handles the Bangor Police Department Facebook page because no one else wants to do it.
Cotton is a successful author with three books to his credit, the latest coming out in November. He is a frequent guest on Mike Rowe’s “The Way I Heard It” Podcast and was finally asked to be a guest on The Nite Show with Dan Cashman, mostly because George Hale said he’d be late because he wanted to nap.
Cotton has an author-based Facebook page followed by 73,000 friends and a weekly blog that is delivered to 20,000 email recipients each week. Yes, they all signed up for it, and he will never sell or loan out your email address.
He has been a featured speaker at numerous Police/Social Media conferences and other events that had no budget.
He came today because Kerrie Tripp offered him “good” coffee if he showed up.