Former Rotary District 7780 Governor (2011-2012) and member of the Rotary Club of Damariscotta-Newcastle Gary Speers of North Ft. Myers Florida died this afternoon.  His wife Judy (Past President of Damariscotta-Newcastle and District Secretary) was with him.

  Gary spent much of his law enforcement career working with youth. He started out working with elementary school students as "Officer Friendly," and he then continued working with high school students as a Police School Counselor. As a supervisor, he headed up a Community Service Division, he started programs for mentoring at-risk youth, and he started the Police Cadet Program.     

    He directed Juvenile and DARE officers and School Resource Officers and develop training for one of the country's first Public School Crisis Response Teams. Additionally, he served with local university staff on the Illinois State University Student Crisis Response Team. Gary initiated and developed the department's Citizen Police Academy, which included young people age 15 and up. He also supervised the department's University Internship Program.

 He served as group leader for International Law Enforcement Educational Exchanges with the Norfolk Constabulary (England and the Russian Interior Ministry (Vladimir, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia). He conducted lawenforcement training in Community Policing at Police Training facilities in the Kent Constabulary, England, and in Vladimir, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. He continued to serve as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice.

    First joining the Normal (Illinois) Rotary Club in 2002, Gary retired to Maine in 2003 and joined the Rotary Club of Damariscotta-Newcastle. He and past Rotary club president Dr. Judy Speers were frequent presenters on the Family of Rotary, Membership, and Fun Fundraisers at district assemblies and conferences. The couple served as District Conference CoChairs in 2010. Gary was also a Paul Harris Fellow.

    Gary and Judy started wintering in North Ft Myers, Florida, several years ago and in 2020 purchased a year-round home there, although they remained Honorary Members of the Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary.