The Maine State Police barracks are pictured in Bangor on Feb. 18, 2021. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Now the public can see more than five years of discipline for the misconduct of officers in the Maine State Police and observe how most records share little detail.

From 2015 through half of 2020, the state’s largest police force disciplined at least 19 of its officers — one twice — for misconduct. For 12 of the officers, the records of discipline contain so few details it is not possible to know what transpired to prompt the punishment.

The actual number of disciplined officers is likely higher, given that the internal affairs unit substantiated allegations against officers in 65 cases from 2015 through 2020.

read more from the misconduct concealed series

But it’s not possible to know every officer who was disciplined or why because officers can request to have certain discipline records destroyed after varying periods of time. The state police does not track how many were destroyed.

Most of the 685 reports to internal affairs over the last six years were deemed “informational” only, according to the agency. A third, or 208 reports, resulted in a finding for or against an officer. In most of these cases — 129 — the agency found the complaint had a factual basis, but the conduct of the officer was lawful or justified.

In 65 cases, the agency found in favor of the complainants. Eight reports were deemed unfounded, meaning there was no factual basis for the complaint. And in six cases there was not enough evidence to prove or disprove the complaint.

The following records are of final discipline action, meaning they do not include findings that were later overturned. From the state police’s perspective, they are the final say on the misconduct in question.

We want to learn more about officer discipline. Do you know about one of these cases? Would you share more about your interactions with Maine State Police officers? Please let us know by emailing cferguson@bangordailynews.com, mbyrne@pressherald.com and erhoda@bangordailynews.com.

Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda is the editor of Maine Focus, a team that conducts journalism investigations and projects at the Bangor Daily News. She also writes for the newspaper, often centering her work on issues of sexual...

Matt Byrne, Portland Press Herald

Matt Byrne has covered crime and public safety for the Portland Press Herald since 2016, with a focus on accountability reporting and breaking news. It is his second beat since being hired at the Press...

Callie Ferguson

Callie Ferguson is an investigative reporter for the Bangor Daily News. She writes about criminal justice, police and housing.