June 03, 2020
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Former Rockport chief accepts loss of police certification

ROCKPORT, Maine — The former longtime police chief of this midcoast town has accepted the revocation of his certificate to work as a police officer in Maine.

The Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board voted Sept. 16 to revoke the law enforcement certificate of Mark Kelley for submitting inaccurate training records to the academy. Kelley had 30 days to appeal that decision but did not.

Kelley served the Rockport Police Department for more than 30 years. He started as a patrol officer and was promoted to captain in 1996. A year later, he was named chief, a post he held for 19 years.

Kelley announced in May his retirement as chief effective July 1.

The discrepancies in the training records were discovered in May during a review of the department prompted by a high-speed chase that resulted in the deaths of two teenagers.

Kelley said in September that the filing of the inaccurate reports to the state was an unintentional mistake on his part. The inaccurate training reports involved records for Officer Craig Cooley and Sgt. Travis Ford. The academy board also voted Sept. 16 to reach a consent agreement with Cooley in which he will be fined $150 and undertake required training. Ford was required to complete his training.

State law allows the criminal justice board to revoke the certificate of an officer for a variety of reasons, such as criminal convictions. The law also allows an officer’s certification to be revoked for “falsifying or misrepresenting material facts in obtaining or maintaining a certificate issued by the board.”

Kelley had said in September he was sorry about the mistake and is content with the 38 years he has served the public in law enforcement.

The errors in the training records were found in May by Municipal Resources Inc. of Meredith, New Hampshire, which the town had hired to review police department policies and to make recommendations as a result of those findings.

Town Manager Richard Bates said Thursday the training required but not taken by both officers was related to elder abuse. Ford had taken the training in a previous year but did not realize he was required to take it again, the manager said. Ford immediately took the training and met or exceeded all the other requirements including all required 2016 training.

Cooley was missing the required elder abuse training and also failed to complete nine of 18 hours of elective training for the calendar years 2014 and 2015, the town manager said. He has completed his make-up training and all of his mandatory and voluntary training for 2016 as well, so is now current in all of his training, Bates said.

Since Kelley retired, Rockport has contracted with Camden for its chief, Randy Gagne, to serve as Rockport’s chief. Officers from both departments also have been sworn in so that they can serve in both communities.

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