VASSALBORO, Maine — Maine law enforcement is getting a new batch of history-making officers.
67 cadets graduated Friday from the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy after 18 weeks of training.
"The program is really designed to, first of all, introduce an academic theory to law enforcement, whether it's constitutional law or dealing with search and seizure, dealing with theoretic pieces, and then we apply it," Rick Desjardins, Director at Maine Criminal Justice Academy, said.
The officers will join 34 departments, both large and small, across the state.
"The agencies are in desperate need of staffing and this is an opportunity to get 67 well-trained officers out in the field. Police officers recognize there is always going to be difficult times ahead of them, and I think this group demonstrated the fact that regardless of whether or not there is unpopular things happening in our country with how law enforcement is viewed, they are willing to step up and do the right thing, and every one of these officers is coming into this profession with the right attitude," Desjardins said.
It's the largest graduating class in state history, and the class has the most female graduates ever. Gabrielle Chardier is one of them.
"It's awesome. We made a lot of connections. Not only with girls, but with the boys. too," Chardier said.
The officers will go through more training in their departments before they hit the streets.