FARMINGTON — After 31 years as a member of the Farmington Police Department, 10 of those as chief, Jack Peck Jr. is resigning Nov. 12 to become assistant director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.

Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck Jr. is resigning Nov. 12 to become assistant director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. Sun Journal file photo Buy this Photo

Peck, of Wilton, announced his retirement on the department’s Facebook page Tuesday morning in a letter. Congratulatory wishes and thank-yous in the comment section immediately started to pour in.

He wrote that he was moving on to the next chapter of his life and career and that he believes the academy is one of the best in the nation.

“While I am very happy for Jack, I am sorry to see him go,” Town Manager Richard Davis said in an email.  “He has been an outstanding chief in every way. Farmington’s loss is the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s gain. Jack is leaving one excellent agency for another truly fine organization. I will miss him tremendously, but I wish him only the best.”

During his 36 years in law enforcement, which began as a patrol officer in Cape Elizabeth, Peck has served people in many ways. He served as a deputy and a corrections officer for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and an agent with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. He worked his way up through the Farmington department from patrol officer, detective, patrol sergeant and lieutenant before being named chief following the death of Police Chief Richard Caton III.

Peck was chosen from a pool of applicants to be the assistant director of the academy, which provides law enforcement training in Maine.

“Jack was chosen from a large and talented applicant pool but he shined through and demonstrated a  passion for training, significant experience in administrative, legislative and supervision, as well as a strong desire to contribute to the mission of the Academy to training and certifying the best law enforcement and correction officers possible,” academy Executive Director Richard Desjardins wrote in an email. “I have known and worked with Jack for many years and am confident he will add significantly to our professional staff here at MCJA.”

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Jr. said he found Chief Peck’s selection to be the next assistant director at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to be a “fantastic choice.”

“Jack was able to rise above a very large selection of other candidates, I congratulate the selection committee for their work,” Nichols said in an email. “I have worked with Jack since the early ’80s, much of his time in law enforcement was in a supervisor/leadership or administrative role. Jack has extensive experience in writing policies, the legislative process, the media and working with diverse groups. As a member of the board of trustees representing the Maine Sheriffs Association, I look forward to working with Jack in his new capacity.”

Peck was the first police chief from Franklin County to be sworn in as president of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association on Sept. 5, 2019.

Peck’s other career achievements include graduating from the FBI National Academy in the 216th session. He earned a Yellow Brick Road brick, which sits on a shelf behind his desk, a reminder of the grueling 6-mile run that was part of the academy training, he said last year.

Wilton Police Chief Heidi Wilcox has been a colleague and friend of Peck’s for over 30 years.

“I am happy for my friend Jack, making a solid professional move to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy,” Wilcox said in an email. “Never in  my years of service has there been a greater need for well-trained and well-prepared police officers. He will proudly represent all of us by bringing positive training opportunities to every law enforcement agency in the State of Maine.”

She met Peck while they both served at Jay Police Department in the late 1980s.

“We have worked neighboring agencies since that time,” Wilcox said. “When you are in a rough situation, it’s a good feeling to know he’s there to help. As a police officer and as chief he has always been the standard for excellence. I’m blessed to call him friend.”

Peck concluded his announcement letter by thanking Davis and the Farmington Board of Selectmen for their support, his fellow brothers and sisters in law enforcement, his community, and especially his officers and staff at the Farmington Police Department.

“Their dedication, hard work and loyalty is unparalleled,” he wrote.

He also thanked his wife, Faith, and family “for their love and unwavering support.”

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