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Oct 5, 2015 7:38 PM

Unexpected death of police officer stuns North Hampton community


NORTH HAMPTON - The Seacoast community was stunned this weekend by the unexpected death of North Hampton police officer Peter Cormier.

The 46-year-old had served on the department for 18 years, and had plans to retire in just 2 years.

Cormier died as a result of an apparent heart attack on Saturday. He was off-duty at the time, according to Chief Michael Maddocks, who was also a longtime friend of Cormier's.

"Pete was the best man at my wedding, and him and I have known each other for many years," Maddocks said. "I was in his wedding, and you couldn’t have asked for a greater guy.”

After nearly two decades on the North Hampton force, he became close to the community and his colleagues.

"They’re doing as well as can be expected right now," Maddocks said.

A Rochester native, Cormier held a well-respected and established career in local law enforcement.

Before joining the North Hampton department, he worked part-time in Newington and was also currently a sniper on "SERT", the seacoast area SWAT team.

In addition to serving New Hampshire, he also served the country for 22 years in the U.S. Army and NH Air National Guard, including the 157th Security Forces Squadron.

He retired from the National Guard in 2009, and focused solely on his police work.

“He was always there with a smile and a handshake. He always was genuinely happy to see you, and that’s what I’ll remember most about him," said State Police Lt. Chris Vetter.

Vetter said troopers also answered calls in North Hampton while the department dealt with the officer's loss on Saturday.

Cormier was a longtime friend of the late Chief Michael Maloney in Greenland, where his brother, James Cormier, continues to serve as a patrol officer.

Vinton Wallace, Cormier's former roommate and a current state police trooper, told NH1 News that Cormier also helped in the terrorism hunt following the Boston Bombing.

“He didn’t care where he was, he was ready to go," said Wallace. "It’s a shock to me that I'm even standing here talking about him. Because it was so unexpected, for everybody.”

Wallace said a fundraiser would be held at Holy Grail in Epping on Tuesday night to help offset funeral costs for Cormier's family. A GoFundMe page has also been established to provide the family with financial assistance.

Cormier leaves behind his wife, Shelby, as well as two 17-month-old twin children, Logan and Brooklyn.

"He was a great police officer, served his country, but his best accomplishment was his kids," said Wallace. "He was so proud to be a dad."


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