A few weeks before he was arrested on suspicion of furnishing drugs from his police cruiser, Jeffrey Bishop submitted a resignation letter to the Calais Police Department that said he had “decided to go out on top.”
Bishop, 53, of Cherryfield submitted the letter to Chief David Randall on Jan. 11 and worked his last day for the department on Jan. 30. Six days later, he was arrested in the parking lot of Narraguagus High School in Harrington on charges of aggravated furnishing of hydrocodone and fentanyl, according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Among the allegations against Bishop is that he gave hydrocodone and fentanyl to a 17-year-old girl in the Narraguagus High School parking lot on Feb. 1, according to a police affidavit filed in Washington County Superior Court.
“Law enforcement is all I’ve known since June of 1992 when a shy, naive young man stepped up and dawned (sic) the uniform, with the intent to ‘save the world,’” Bishop wrote in his Jan. 11 resignation letter to Randall. “I’ve had many positive and fulfilling years and will cherish them all.”
In the letter, he thanked Randall for the “mentoring and leadership you continually give ‘the guys’ and for never wavering from your core beliefs and integrity.”
Bishop remained held Tuesday on $30,000 cash bail at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton, according to a corrections officer at Washington County Jail. Washington County is boarding Bishop at the jail in Houlton, rather than the jail in Machias, because his recent work as a police officer in Washington County might have put him behind bars with people he arrested or their relatives or friends.
Bishop made his first court appearance by video link on Monday and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on April 21.
Bishop has extensive history working as a police officer in Hancock and Washington counties, according to a copy of his employment history obtained from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. He started as a part-time deputy for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in 1995 and worked there until 2007. During that time, he also worked for short stints ranging from a few months to a year or more for police departments in Baileyville, Ellsworth and Jonesport.
Bishop did not work in law enforcement for several years after he left the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in 2007. The prior year, he ran in the Republican primary for the county’s election for sheriff and, after losing, was accused of throwing a political sign of his opponent into the Narraguagus River. He later was found guilty of attempted criminal mischief and was ordered to pay a $100 fine.
Information about what he did for work in the years after he left the sheriff’s department was unavailable Tuesday, but he got back into law enforcement in 2014, when he took part-time jobs as a police officer in Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor. He worked as a corrections officer at the now-closed Downeast Correctional Facility state prison in Machiasport from the fall of 2015 through spring of 2017, and went to work as a police officer in Milbridge from October 2017 to August 2019.
Lewis Pinkham, Milbridge’s town manager and police chief, said Tuesday that Bishop left his job in Milbridge after the town considered ways to reduce its budget, which was projected to significantly reduce Bishop’s working hours. Lewis said he had no issues with Bishop’s job performance while Bishop worked for the town.
After leaving his job in Milbridge, Bishop was hired as a part-time police officer in Calais, where he worked from August 2019 through January of this year.
On Tuesday, Randall directed questions about the city’s public personnel documents concerning Bishop’s work performance to Crystal Gallina, the city’s human resources director. Gallina sent a copy of Bishop’s resignation letter to the Bangor Daily News but added that there are no discipline decisions in Bishop’s file and that there have been no lawsuits or legal settlements that involve both Bishop and the city.
Correction: An earlier version of this report misstated how long Jeffrey Bishop worked for the town of Milbridge.