FARMINGTON — Police Chief Jack Peck was recently elected to serve as sergeant at arms for the Maine Chiefs of Police Association.
“I’m humbled and proud to be considered and elected,” Peck said.
The position starts three years of grooming to prepare Peck to be president of the association. After serving as sergeant at arms, he will become second vice president for a year and first vice president for a year before leading the statewide association.
Peck is a member of the Executive Board which meets monthly. A meeting will be held this week at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. He expects to learn more then about his tasks for this year, he said.
The association members, several hundred people, meet three times a year for training and networking, he said.
During a September meeting, some peers asked him to run. Another chief from southern Maine was also up for the position but Peck was elected by members, he said.
“They thought I would be a good representative for the association. It is an honor to be considered to represent all the chiefs of the state of Maine,” he said. As he works through the positions and assumes leadership, “I want to represent our profession admirably and do what is best for police and the public,” he said.
Peck has been in police work since 1984 and with the Farmington Police Department since 1989. He enjoys working with the community, problem-solving and especially working with people, he said.
The association’s main goal is to maintain professional standards and top-rank training. It also provides the opportunity to keep up with police related issues, he said.
The association maintains an active presence in state policy by addressing the state legislature on specific bills. It encompasses a legislative liaison, an executive director, various boards and committees, he said.
Association members vote on different stands. The Association has come out against referendum questions one and three on the November ballot, he said.
Along with committees for policy and procedure, equipment and community relations, one that Peck has served on and led is a need assessments for police departments.
A group is chosen to go to a town and review its police department. They go through everything from procedures, to equipment and department morale, he said. They make recommendations to the town’s councilors on what could change to improve the department.
Often, it is a department that is struggling with some issues or concerns or may be financially strapped and looking for better ways to do police work in that town, he said.
The town contracts with the Maine Chiefs of Police Association and several police chiefs are chosen to review their department, he said.
Although the review could sound intimidating, Peck has found the ones he was involved with were quite the opposite.
“Actually, the rank and file have welcomed it,” he said. “It is an outside look in.”
During his time with the Farmington Police Department, Peck has worked as an undercover agent for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and served as detective, patrol sergeant and lieutenant before becoming police chief in 2010.