There are over 16,000 police officers actively employed in Maine, and each one was trained through a state police academy. Becoming an officer of the law requires determination, courage, and a strong moral code. Police officers regularly face danger in order to protect the public and serve their communities. The risks are great, but so are the rewards. Most officers take great pride in the service they provide to the public. They help those in need, strive to set positive examples for the public, and their daily work can change people’s lives for the better. Because of the risks involved, police are rigorously trained and handsomely rewarded in salary and benefits. In Maine, the average salary for police is $57,000 a year. The pool of applicants for basic training is large, and there is a high level of competition for new spots on the force.
In order to become a police officer in Maine, there are several prerequisites for basic training. All cadets must be at least 21 years old, hold a valid driver’s license, have at least a high school diploma or GED, and legally reside in the United States as a citizen. The application process has several different screening points, and applicants are evaluated through several background checks. Firstly, health records and physical exams are required to determine whether the applicant will be able to complete training and perform regular police work without any complications. Hearing tests and vision tests are required, and applicants are subjected to extensive physical trials to determine their endurance, strength, and overall fitness. Financial histories are scoured for signs of fiscal irresponsibility, and poor credit scores or large outstanding debts will make it more difficult to gain admission to the academy. Criminal background checks are also extremely important. Any applicant with a history of drug-abuse, including DUIs, will be less favored by the admissions board. Violent misdemeanors like domestic abuse and all felonies will disqualify the applicant. Written tests are also administered to determine cadets’ understanding of police protocol and civil rights, and this test will be a factor in determining rank within the force.
Popular Police Academies
There is only one accredited police academy in Maine. This is the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Waterloo. The basic training program lasts 18 weeks and covers all aspects of police work. Municipal police and state troopers are trained in the same program, and the basic training program has become much more extensive to cover many different specializations. To better your chances of admission, it helps to have a college degree in law enforcement or criminal justice. There is also a Law-Enforcement Pre-Service training program available through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.