The Jay Police Department has been accredited by the Maine Chiefs of Police Association for complying with all state law enforcement best practices or standards. From left are Sgt. Russell Adams, school resource officer Cpl. Joseph Sage, Chief Richard Caton IV, officer David Morin and dispatch secretary Jeannine Fletcher. Absent when the photo was taken were officers Rex Schweighofer and Constantino Zenteno. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

JAY — The Police Department is the first law enforcement agency in Franklin County to become accredited by the Maine Chiefs of Police Association.

The certification means the department complies with all state law enforcement best practices or standards, Police Chief Richard Caton IV said, and will receive a 10% to 15% discount on liability insurance through the Maine Municipal Association.

The accreditation is for three years.

“It was a goal of mine when the state came up with the accreditation program to become accredited and am happy to accomplish it,” Caton said. “The staff worked hard to accomplish it. It was definitely the whole department.”

The Maine Chiefs of Police Association developed the Maine Law Enforcement Accreditation Program to assist state law enforcement agencies in meeting their professional obligations to citizens of Maine. The association partnered with Dirigo Safety to manage the program.

“It is a voluntary process where police agencies prove their compliance with Maine law enforcement’s current best practices or standards,” Caton said.


There are 158 standards, including professional criteria, records and information management, unusual situations, communications, processing and transportation, up-to-date policies, and property and evidences.

“All personnel have to be trained and signed off on all policies,” the chief said. “A lot of this stuff is already in play. We had to prove we were all doing it.”

“We can create a program that allows us to upload policies and disseminate them to all personnel, including the dispatch secretary,” he said. That person has to comply with standards that pertain to the job.

Caton and Sgt. Russell Adams provided proof that the department and officers knew the standards and practiced them. All new officers will also have to when they join the department.

“I am very proud of all the hard work that my staff put into this,” Caton said.

Of the more than 100 departments in Maine, Jay’s is the 14th to complete the accreditation process, which it started in September 2021.


Others, according to Dirigo Safety’s website, are:

• Auburn Police Department

• Augusta Police Department

• Bath Police Department

• Berwick Police Department

• Biddeford Police Department


• Brunswick Police Department

• Ellsworth Police Department

• Falmouth Police Department

• Jay Police Department

• Old Town Police Department

• Orono Police Department


• South Portland Police Department

• Westbrook Police Department

• York County Sheriff’s Department

Farmington is working on becoming accredited.

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