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Law Enforcement Careers in Maine

Law enforcement training in Maine is offered through all agencies with posted openings, whether at the state, county or city level of government. Most police jobs in Maine require deputies or officers to complete programs through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA).

Maine State Police

The Maine State Police specialize in vehicle inspections and crashes, commercial vehicles, forensics, and criminal investigations. Additional specialized divisions include an air unit, bomb squad, dive team, pipe and drum unit, evidence response team, canine, and crisis negotiation team. The agency is Maine’s largest police force, with 341 sworn officers.

Employment requirements include meeting general background, education, and character benchmarks.

Successful applicants will be high school graduates or possess a GED equivalent 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 jobs in Maine’s sheriff’s departments throughout the state require a minimum education level of high-school-graduate or a GED equivalent.

Cumberland County: The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for 853 square miles and about 282,000 residents. The sheriff’s department employs over 250 civilians, sworn officers, and experts to provide coverage for the region. Completion of a 100-hour MCJA course required for employment, with a preference given for one to two years of college completion or a criminal justice program.

Androscoggin County: The sheriff’s department in Androscoggin County is divided into a public safety, county jail, and civil section. Jail officials recently got a surprise when they realized they had been tricked by an inmate who posed as someone else and walked out of the jail. The inmate impersonated another inmate who was scheduled to be released that day and enjoyed 10 minutes of freedom until officers realized their mistake and caught up with him. Employment preference is given to applicants with college or military experience.

Penobscot County: The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department is divided into five units: detective, corrections, court security, patrol, and civil. There are 150 officers associated with the sheriff’s department, which will not hire anyone who is a current or recent drug user. Additional requirements are the completion of departmental testing and a polygraph and medical test.

Law Enforcement Careers in Maine: Municipal Police Departments

City police departments require all new applicants to have at least a high school diploma or GED.

Portland PD: On a given week the Portland PD saw seven violent crimes, 179 property crimes, and made a total of 317 arrests. In addition to basic education requirements, applicants must have either three years of college or university education or two years of post-high school employment.


Lewiston PD: The Lewiston PD 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.

Bangor PD: The Bangor Police Department is the third largest in the state with 81 sworn officers and 24 civilian staff members. Thanks to the hard work of these individuals, Bangor has one of the lowest levels of violent crime in the country for a city of its size. Preference will be given to candidates with a post-secondary education, military, and law enforcement experience.

Scarborough PD: The Scarborough Police Department serves the surrounding areas of its jurisdiction which include West Scarborough. The ranks are filled by over 30 sworn officers and an additional 30 reserve officers. The area of jurisdiction comprises 53 square miles with a significant population increase during summer due to Scarborough’s coastal location. All police officers must graduate from the Main Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) or a recognized equivalent.

Sanford PD: A full-time police force has been operating in Sanford since 1898. Since that time the force has grown to its present capacity, which includes a special response team, school resource officers, an animal control officer, a patrol team, and a criminal investigations team. Candidates for the position of police officer are strongly preferred to have a certification from the MCJA.

Maine Law Enforcement Salaries

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, reports that in 2010 the median Maine law enforcement salaries were:

  • Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $57,130
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $55,540
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: $41,610

Detectives and Criminal Investigators Salaries across Maine

Area name
Annual mean wage
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford ME
Portsmouth NH-ME
Northeast Maine nonmetropolitan area
Southwest Maine nonmetropolitan area

Police Officer and Sheriff Salary in Maine

The Portland Police Department consists of more than 160 law enforcement personnel, 125 of which are police officers and 22 of which are sergeants. The starting police officer salary in Maine at the Portland Police Department is $34,923.20 and increases as follows:

  • 0-1 year: $35,796.80
  • 1-3 years: $39,561.60
  • 3-5 years: $43,784
  • 5-8 years: $45,510.40
  • 8-12 years: $47,091.20
  • 12-18 years: $48,734.40
  • 18+ years: $50,440

However, these figures are only base pay figures and do not include overtime, court time, etc. It was noted that the average salary among police officers during their 1st year ranged between $46,300 and $57,300.

Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Salaries across Maine

Area name
Annual mean wage
Bangor ME
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford ME
Portsmouth NH-ME
Rochester-Dover NH-ME
Northeast Maine nonmetropolitan area
Southwest Maine nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released

State Trooper Salary in Maine

The state trooper salary in Maine is designated as pay grade 21 and ranges between $36,753.60 and $49,420.80. The Department of Public Safety, Maine State Police also provides additional educational pay at $0.19/hr for an Associate degree, $0.31/hr for a Bachelor degree, and $0.43/hr for a Master degree. The following benefits are also extended to state troopers in Maine:

  • Uniform allowance: $780 per year
  • Cell phone allowance: $600 per year
  • Night shift differential: $0.40 to $0.50 per hour
  • Weekend differential: $0.50 per hour

Police Supervisors and Detectives Salaries across Maine

Area name
Annual mean wage
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford ME
Portsmouth NH-ME
Rochester-Dover NH-ME
Northeast Maine nonmetropolitan area
Southwest Maine nonmetropolitan area

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