In 2017, a violent crime took place in Maine every five and a half hours, including nearly two homicides a month – up 17% from the year before. A robbery occurred every day and a half, and on average, a sexual assault was committed every day that year. A property crime occurred every hour and a half, including a burglary every two hours, two motor vehicle thefts daily, and someone’s personal property was stolen every half hour on average.
With an overall crime rate of more than 16 incidents for every 1,000 people, even a peaceful state like Maine presents serious challenges for the dedicated men and women of the law enforcement community.
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.
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- SNHU - A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Criminology, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- Rasmussen College - Law Enforcement Associate's Degree and Post-Degree Certificates; Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degrees
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Michigan State University - Online Master of Science in Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis
- Saint Joseph's University - Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Utica College - Online Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice
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.
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 2018 statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for law enforcement professionals in Maine is $49,860. The top 10% earn a median salary of $64,130. These figures represent law enforcement officers in all municipal police departments, state agencies and county sheriff’s departments.
For agency-specific information, you need to turn to the specific departments themselves. The following police officer data, sourced directly from the respective police departments, highlights the starting salaries for these professionals. In some cases, salaries for officer recruits during academy training are also provided.
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 $42,161. Upon the successful completion of academy training, new officers earn a starting salary of $45,531.
- Bangor Police Department
Police officer recruits with the Bangor Police Department earn between $43,264 and $44,148, depending on experience and qualifications.
- Portland Police Department
Entry-level police officers with the Portland Police Department earn a salary of $49,649. After three years of service, the salary for these law enforcement professionals increases to $53,060, and after five years, it increases again to $55,161. The top salary for police officers here is $62,545.
State Trooper and State Police Salaries
Troopers with the Maine State Police begin their careers at a salary of $45,885. The top salary for these state law enforcement professionals is $61,651.
Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2018 – https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_me.htm.
BLS salary data represents state and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Agency-level salary and employment data was sourced directly from the municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies named and reflects the specific salary ranges and seniority- or rank-based pay described by the respective agency.
All salary and employment data accessed in August 2019.