Statement from the Colonel of the Maine State Police
On Monday Maine State Police Col. John Cote issued a statement through a news release addressing recent series printed by two Maine newspapers about the Maine State Police agency and how discipline within the agency is handled.
Col. Cote used the statement as an opportunity to “set the record straight”. He said that the Main State Police does not hide wrongdoing and does not choose to keep certain information related to discipline secret. The leader of the State’s Police force cited laws and statutes that outline how state employee's information is handled. The full news release can be read here Maine State Police
Did you know this about the MSP?
The Maine State Police is the largest agency in the state with over 330 officers covering the northern most tips of the state to the New Hampshire border. Col. Cote laid out the transparency the State Police has had with the newspapers, as well as the general public. Instead of attacking the newspapers, the Col. Led by example and responded with facts, statistics and explanations with any particular subject he responded to. He used the release as a chance to educate the general public on particular laws and statutes as it relates to the agency.
In a time when questioning and being skeptical of law enforcement is popular, Col. Cote responded in a calm respectful manner, presenting facts as it relates to the agency he is leading. Cote cited at minimal over a 5-year period the state police have had over 1,300,000 contacts with the public. This includes routine traffic stops, requests for services of aid, and commercial vehicle checks. During this time the Office of Professional Standards only received 685 inquiries, complaints, or questions about the agency.
Cooperation proves the quality of leadership:
When there is a complaint or allegation brought forward the Maine State Police "investigate it thoroughly and take appropriate disciplinary action when warranted." The disciplinary actions carried out by the Maine State Police are subject to review by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board of Trustees, the Maine Attorney General's Office, and the State Bureau of Human Resources. Col. John Cote ended his release saying "I continue to be proud of our agency, the high quality of work our agency does, and proud of the outstanding men and women that answer the call everyday”
The next time you are in line getting a coffee and you see an officer from any of the agencies in Maine that protect and serve us, check in on them. If you feel inclined, thank them for their service. These people work night and day, rain, show or shine, and around the clock. There is no time off in public service. Ask how they are doing and if you can buy their coffee? We are all in this together and support goes a lot further in achieving harmony during these times of heightened tensions.
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