law enforcement

Maine rolls out new program aimed to help police and people with disabilities

Chief Macdaid addresses the press about the contact person form.
Chief Leonard Macdaid addresses the press during the unveiling of the Contact Person Program, June 22, 2021.

From the Desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO

The state of Maine is launching a new program aimed at helping Mainers with disabilities stay safe. When a person with disabilities or cognitive impairment encounters a law enforcement officer, they can have a difficult time communicating pertinent information. This barrier can create a significant challenge for officers trying to help the individual.

The Contact Person Program will change that. The confidential database would provide law enforcement officers with contact information voluntarily provided by an individual or a legal guardian who signs up for the program.

The Contact Person Program was passed into law in 2019. It was sponsored by Representative Dan Costain, R-Plymouth, a retired police officer, who saw first-hand the critical need for such a program. “I am very proud to be able to have sponsored this legislation” said Representative Dan Costain.” Winslow Police Chief Leonard Macdaid and I felt this bill would help many people with disabilities or impairments.  Being a retired police officer there were many times in my career that I would have loved to have this critical information to be able to help citizens. “

The Department of Public Safety developed the data base and has implemented the program which will be managed by Maine State Police. “This program will allow officers to quickly gain important information to ensure they can effectively resolve situations involving people with disabilities” said Maine State Police Colonel John Cote.

To sign up for the voluntary, free, and confidential Contact Person Program simply visit any police department in Maine. The program will go live on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.



We are experiencing a life-threatening, unprecedented health crisis in our state and country and the actions that we take today will determine the severity of this pandemic.  As a society we all need to work together to get through this challenging time.  Without significant changes in our social interactions and travel habits, we can anticipate things will get worse before they get better, particularly for those persons in high-risk groups such as the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.  The steps and guidelines outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order are an attempt to minimize the destruction that the Corona Virus (COVID-19) will leave in its path.  We all know that things are going to get worse before they get better, but they WILL GET BETTER!  If we fail to heed the cautions of experts and do not take the proper safeguards, the devastation from this disease will extend deeper and wider than if we manage to slow the spread by staying at home.  We can’t stop this virus yet, but we can slow it down to a manageable rate thereby saving dozens if not hundreds of lives right here in Maine.  One of those lives could be your own, or that of a loved one.   

The Maine State Police is asking for voluntary compliance with this Executive Order by staying at home unless you have an essential need to go out.  There are several allowable reasons to leave your home such as; going to get groceries or take-out from a restaurant, getting needed supplies at a hardware store or pharmacy for yourself or others, going to a doctor’s appointment, etc.  Those who are employed by essential businesses can still travel for work.  You may also go out for a hike or go for a walk to get some fresh air while maintaining proper physical distancing.

Our Troopers will be visible on normal patrol and will be responding to emergency calls for service just like we would at any other time.  We will assume that people we encounter are following the orders and have an essential need for travel.  We will smile and wave as we see them out walking to get some fresh air.  In order to maintain order and public safety during this State of Civil Emergency we will continue to respond to complaints and investigate crime, enforcing all laws to include the Governor’s Executive Order.  Our Troopers will exercise discretion and compassion as we always do, considering the totality of the circumstances in deciding the most reasonable and appropriate enforcement action.  With our goal being voluntary compliance, we hope and believe that communication and education regarding legal, safe practices outlined in the Executive Order will suffice.  Issuing summonses or making physical arrests would be our last course of action and reserved for only the most egregious violators. Our hope is that the public will abide by the Executive Order and not put our officers in the position of having to enforce the law. 

The Maine State Police will not be randomly stopping people simply to verify compliance.  However, there will be times when our Troopers will be in contact with members of the public during normal law enforcement operations and may ask questions to ensure compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order.

Please do your part to stay apart.  It will help flatten the curve to a level where medical heroes can safely take care of all of Maine’s citizens.  There is no better way to fight this public safety challenge.  It is the right thing for all of us to do together. 

Additional Resources that may be helpful:

The Department of Economic and Community Development has been designated as the lead for many of these interpretation questions – particularly for businesses. Their website with FAQs and an email address for questions is here.

The language in the Executive Order can be found here



Maine’s 62 newest police officers graduate from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Wednesday.  Some of the new officers will begin patrolling this weekend, beefing up Thanksgiving weekend patrols.  The new officers have completed eighteen weeks of study and training at the academy, located in Vassalboro. The new officers studied many topics, including crime scene processing, emergency vehicle operation, first aid, traffic and criminal law, domestic violence and sexual assault. Among the graduates are six State Police Trooper recruits, five new Portland Police officers , three new Bangor Police officers and three new deputies from the Cumberland Sheriff’s Office.   The graduation begins at 10 AM and the guest speaker will be Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck, who is President of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association.  

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