President of Maine Chiefs of Police has deep Midcoast ties

Sep 05, 2018
Courtesy of: Maine Associaiton of Chiefs of Police Richard LaHaye is the incoming president of the Maine Association of Chiefs of Police.

South Portland — Searsport Police Chief Richard LaHaye has been chosen president of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association for 2018-19.

Accordiing to a news release from the association, LeHaye thinks of himself as a quintessential Mainer, but in reality he spent his earliest years in New Hampshire. Fortunately his family eventually moved to Midcoast Maine, where he attended Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro and later the University of Maine at Machias. He began his career in law enforcement in 1976 as a Marine Patrol officer with the Department of Marine Resources and was assigned to the Belfast/Searsport area.

In 1988, he was promoted to sergeant and worked out of the Rockland office. During this time, he also was an adjunct instructor in marine law enforcement at Unity College, where he developed the curriculum for this new course. He also partnered with Sgt. William Allen of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to create the curriculum for and administer the first combined academy for officers from both agencies. LaHaye was promoted to lieutenant in 1991, and assigned to the central office in Augusta, where he was in charge of training, purchasing and was the liaison with other state and local law enforcement agencies.

He retired from the Marine Patrol in 1996 at the age of 42 and started his own coffee business. He coached varsity basketball and softball teams at Belfast Area High School and then moved on to Medomak Valley High School to coach girls’ varsity basketball and boys' golf, in addition to his work with students as the in-school suspension coordinator. This work led him back to law enforcement, and he became the first school resource officer at that school, holding joint appointments with the Knox and Lincoln County sheriff’s departments. He is still in touch with many of the students whose lives he touched.

LaHaye began his tenure as chief of police for the Searsport Police Department Jan. 1, 2008. Now in his 11th year there, he works daily with students in the schools and with many of the elderly citizens. He is the law enforcement representative on the Maine Legislature’s Right to Know Committee, the Maine Chiefs of Police representative on Maine Elder Death Analysis Review Team and is chair of the Board of Directors of the Waldo County Regional Communications Center. He is an active member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the FBI LEEDA Program and the New England Chiefs of Police Association.

LaHaye and his wife of 40 years, Pam, enjoy time on their alpaca farm with their family, which includes son Matthew and his soon-to-be wife, Jenn, daughter Kate and her husband, Bobby, and their three grandchildren, Carmen, Noah and Hannah.

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