Law Enforcement Careers in Maine

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there were 1,548 incidents of violent crime and about 17,000 incidents of property crime in Maine 2019. Between 2018 and 2019, violent crime in the state has increased by a troubling 3.2%.

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Whether serving with the Maine State Police, your local police department, or one of the country sheriff’s offices, you have a chance at a career that is as meaningful as it is challenging as you work to keep the communities in your jurisdiction safe. No matter which agency you work with, your career starts with a course of training through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA).

Maine State Police

The Maine State Police is the largest police force in the state, with 341 sworn officers. The agency is comprised of a number of specialized divisions, including an air unit, bomb squad, dive team, pipe and drum unit, evidence response team, canine unit, and crisis negotiation team.

Successful applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and be able to pass a series of physical exams. Selected applicants will be invited to attend the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) Municipal/County Basic Police School.

Maine County Sheriff’s Department Jobs

Law enforcement outside municipal jurisdictions in rural enclaves and unincorporated areas outside of city limits is the responsibility of county sheriff’s offices. Since their jurisdictions overlap with the municipal police departments in the county, they also often work in support of local PDs. Additionally, they conduct tasks related to serving subpoenas and court summons, animal control, and managing detention facilities. Maine’s sheriff’s departments require officers with a minimum of a high school diploma, although a college degree is often preferred.

Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for policing 853 square miles and serving the law enforcement needs of about 290,000 residents. In addition to general patrol positions, deputies here have the opportunity to enter one of the specialized units such as Honor Guard, K-9, Marine Patrol, Accident Reconstruction, and Dive Team.

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Joining the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office starts with passing a physical agility test, participating in a primary interview, background Investigation, polygraph, and a psychological and medical evaluation before sitting for the final interview and going on to the 100-hour MCJA training course. Preference is given to applicants with one to two years of college credits or a degree in criminal justice.

Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department’s Public Safety Division is made up of four units (patrol, criminal investigations, and communications), served by 12 full-time deputies, three part-time patrol deputies, and nine dispatchers. Preference is given to applicants with college credits or military experience.

Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office

The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department answers more than 16,000 calls for service annually and patrols the county’s 54 rural communities. There are about 36 full-time deputies working here, along with an additional 10 reserve and full-time deputies assigned to contractual programs. Candidates must successfully complete departmental testing, a polygraph exam, and a medical exam before going on to the MCJA.

Law Enforcement Careers in Maine: Municipal Police Departments

Applicants for police officer positions with one of Maine’s PDs who have a college degree or previous military or law enforcement experience are often shown preference during the hiring process.

Portland Police Department

The Portland Police Department, as the largest municipal law enforcement agency in Maine, consists of 161 sworn officers and 59 civilian employees. In addition to basic education requirements, police officer applicants must have either three years of college education or two years of post-high school employment.

Lewiston Police Department

The Lewiston Police Department is divided into patrol, criminal investigations, and support services units. The police department also oversees community programs such as the citizens police academy, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), and Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) programs. Applicants must sit for a written test and undergo a series of interviews, background checks and screenings before going on to complete MCJA training.

Bangor Police Department

Since its creation in 1889, when it was comprised of a permanent police force of just 13 officers, the Bangor Police Department has grown to become the third largest police force in Maine, with 84 sworn officers and 20 civilian personnel. Preference is given to candidates with a post-secondary education and/or military/law enforcement experience.

Scarborough Police Department

The Scarborough Police Department consists of 21 patrol officers and 6 sergeants who patrol the town’s 53 square miles. During the summer months, the population of this town swells due to tourists flocking to its coastal location. All police officers here must graduate from the Main Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) or a recognized equivalent.

Sanford Police Department

The Sanford Police Department, which provides law enforcement services to the city’s 23,000 residents, consists of a response team, a patrol team, and a criminal investigations team. Applicants for police officer positions with the Sanford Police Department are strongly encouraged to have certification from the MCJA before applying.

Maine Law Enforcement Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Maine’s law enforcement officers earned an average salary of $56,930 as of May 2021. These figures represent law enforcement officers in all municipal police departments, state agencies and county sheriff’s departments.

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The following police/sheriff’s department salary data was sourced from May 2021 BLS stats (early career = 25th percentile, senior/late career = 90th percentile).

Police Officer Salaries

Starting salaries for entry-level police officers among Maine’s largest police departments range from $43,264 to $49,649.

Auburn Police Department

The starting salary for police officer recruits with the Auburn Police Department is $47,850.

Bangor Police Department

Police officer recruits with the Bangor Police Department earn about $47,850, although salary depends on experience and qualifications.

Portland Police Department

Entry-level police officers with the Portland Police Department earn about $60,040. The top salary for police officers here is about $78,540.

State Trooper and State Police Salaries

Troopers with the Maine State Police begin their careers at a salary of about $48,140. The top salary for these state law enforcement professionals is $76,010.

2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for police and sheriff’s patrol officers. Job growth projections from the US Department of Labor-sponsored resource, Projections Central. Figures are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2022.

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