New Environmental Police officer is no stranger

Environmental Police Sergeant Mike Camire (right) has replaced Sergeant Matt Bass (left) on the Island beat. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Martha’s Vineyard has a new Environmental Police officer, Sergeant Mike Camire, who has replaced Sergeant Matt Bass on the Island’s woods and water beat.

Sergeant Bass was reassigned to the lower Cape and Falmouth area last month after three years patrolling the Island. The lateral transfer cut down on the daily commute he made from his house in Falmouth.

Sergeant Camire will also commute by patrol boat from the Cape. A former Coast Guardsman, he is intimately familiar with Vineyard Sound.

In an interview Monday during a break from a get-acquainted tour of the Island with Sergeant Bass, Mr. Camire said, “It’s been a little while, but I lived out here for a couple of years.”

Mr. Camire, 54, served in the Coast Guard for almost 15 years. He was stationed at Coast Guard Station Menemsha from 1979 to 1981 “back in the heyday.” Following his retirement, he joined the Environmental Police.

“My whole career in the Coast Guard was what I am doing now, law enforcement, driving boats, marine fisheries, so I just transitioned into a another color uniform, from blue to green,” he said.

Married and the father of two boys, aged 30 and 28, and a grandfather in June, he is originally from the New Bedford-Fairhaven area.

The Vineyard assignment came with a promotion to his new rank of sergeant. That, and the ability to be close to home, were factors in his decision to take the new posting.

Mr. Camire said he lives near the Steamship ferry and the harbor so it is an easy commute, particularly in the department’s patrol boat. He does not expect the change from the Cape area to the Island to change his focus on enforcing fishery regulations, hunting regulations and boating safety, to name a few of the areas that fall within the purview of the Environmental Police.

Sergeant Camire said that he has spent the past few weeks on the job getting to know people and introducing himself to local officials. He said he is not a hunter but loves to fish in fresh and saltwater.

Asked what he likes to fish for, he provided a good Island answer: “anything.”

Reflecting his Coast Guard background, Sergeant Camire said he is particularly interested in boating safety and looks forward to assisting Island groups with safety programs. “I’ve been on the water my whole life,” he said.

He pointed out that state regulations require anyone in a canoe or kayak to wear a PFD from September 15 to May 14.

Asked to describe the major difference between the mainland and the Island, Sergeant Bass highlighted the strong sense of community and intimacy. He said word gets around quickly and what happens up Island is quickly talked about down Island.