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Committee to review Maine police training and profiling data

The Maine Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will meet Wednesday to discuss many issues facing Maine law enforcement
Credit: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald
A man kneels on Middle Street with his hands in the air in front of a line of police in riot gear on Tuesday night.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety (CJPS) Committee will meet Wednesday to discuss issues amid local criticism of police techniques during the protests following George Floyd's death at the hands of members of the Minneapolis Police Department. 

Attorney General Aaron Frey, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck, and members of the Judiciary Committee look at, among other things, current training practices at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. Many departments across Maine are revisiting training during the Floyd protests. 

Earlier this weekrepresentatives from the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, the Maine Sheriffs Association, the Maine Prosecutors Association, and the Maine Department of Public Safety released a detailed overview of policies and procedures. 

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Steve McCausland said these agencies are continuing to review policies "with a common goal of improving the services and protection" of Maine citizens.

Portland's department held a full review of its handling of the protests this week with the mayor and entire city council. 

In a Zoom meeting with Portland City Council Monday night, Portland Police Chief Frank Clark gave a report on the June 1 Black Lives Matter protest, sparked by the murder of George Floyd.

Clark said although protest organizers usually work with the City's Event Permitting staff and Police Department ahead of time to work out logistics, protest details were not shared for all but the June 3 protest.

The CJPS Committee hearing will begin at 9 a.m., and NEWS CENTER Maine will live stream right here. 

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