Maine State Police

The Maine State Highway Police was founded in July of 1921 with 34 new officers, known as Inspectors, working under the authority of the State Highway Commission.

In 1925, it was determined that there was a need to increase the size and scope of the State Highway Police, and by 1935, the force was then officially called the Maine State Police with Inspectors re- titled as "Troopers". The number of sworn officers reaches 100 that year.

In 1936, the first 47 patrol cars were purchased to replace most of the 46 Harley Davidson motorcycles and 25 sidecars that patrolled Maine highways and by-ways year-round. MSP Patrol cars were black and Highway Safety cars were white.

In March of 1942, the MSP covered 6 Troop areas: Troop A (Wells) Troop B (West Scarborough) Troop C (Fairfield) Troop D (Thomaston) Troop E (Bangor) Troop F (Houlton) In 1955, Troop G is established to patrol the Maine Turnpike from Kittery to Augusta. This was also the first year that MSP license plates went from annual issues to a standard multi-year red character over silvery white background. The following year, roof lights were installed on patrol cars for the first time.

In 1965, MSP patrol car color went from black to medium blue. This was also the year that MSP license plates went from red over white to white over blue. Blue patrol cars with white roofs were experimented with from 1968 to 1972 when the MSP decided to go back to all blue cars. 1970 was the first year 4 door cars were put into service. The Maine Department of Public Safety was established in 1972 with the MSP falling under its direction.

Troop J covers Hancock and Washington counties, and Troop K is the Traffic Division located in Gardiner. Troop K is the largest troop and is home to the Inspection Section and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. A Special Services Unit handles matters involving Canine, Aviation, Underwater Recovery Team and Executive Protection. Today, the MSP has in excess of 300 sworn officers who wear their uniform proudly.

Maine State Flag

The state coat of arms is placed on a blue field.
In the center of the shield a moose rests under a tall pine tree.
A farmer and seaman represents the work that people did in early times.
The North Star represents the state motto: "Dirigo". ( "I Direct" )


1936 issue- (Approx. 6.2" x 9") Embossed steel
Plate courtesy of the collection of
Trooper Thomas Fiske, Maine State Police

Click picture for a larger image

1937 issue- (Approx. 6.2" x 9") Embossed steel
 

1939 issue- (Approx. 6.2" x 9") Embossed steel

Picture courtesy of Jim Benjaminson

Circa 1950-1955 issue- (Approx. 6.2" x 9")
Embossed aluminum with glass beaded,
reflective background.
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

Circa 1955-1959 issue- Embossed aluminum
We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?

Late 1950's-circa 1962 issue- Red over silvery
Flex-O-Lite background


Picture courtesy of the Maine State Police


Circa 1962-1965 issue- Red over silvery
Flex-O-Lite background

We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?


Circa 1962-1965 Sample-
Red over silvery Flex-O-Lite background
 

Circa 1965-1971 issue- Red over reflective lacquered white
(has yellow-like tinge to it)

We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?


Late 1960's-early 1970's issue- The MSP website says that MSP license plates went to white on blue in 1965, however the previous issue has been seen used well into 1971 in old photos. Perhaps these blue plates were issued concurrent to the already issued red and white plates. Confusing. Any confirmation on info to clarify is wanted and welcome!

We are looking for a picture showing
this type plate on duty....
Can you help us?


Late 1960's-early 1970's SAMPLE issue- The MSP website
says that MSP license plates went to white on blue in 1965,
however the previous issue has been seen used well into 1971
in old photos. Perhaps these blue plates were issued concurrent to the already issued red and white plates. Confusing. Any confirmation on info to clarify is wanted and welcome!

1970's-Current issue- Colonel of the Maine State Police


Picture courtesy of Jay Weinstein


The Maine State Police has a Liquor Licensing and
Compliance Unit which provides licenses for all on-premise
and off-premise retailers of alcohol in the state. They also
license the manufacturers and distributors of beer and wine.
The inspectors assigned to this unit work with the retailers to
ensure compliance with the liquor laws. This unit issues approximately 6000 licenses per year to different elements of
the liquor industry. Prior to some years ago, the Liquor
Enforcement Unit was a stand-alone agency in this regard
under the Maine Department of Public Safety before the State
Police took over the operations. These plates were issued to the
unmarked cars assigned to this Unit (all were unmarked),
and were allegedly only put on the cars twice a year. Those times were for the Troop inspection by the Commissioner of
Public Safety, etc. It is believed that this is the only surviving
specimen from that unit as all other LEU plates were
reportedly ordered to be surrendered and destroyed by
the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

90th Anniversary issue- released March 14 2011

Picture courtesy of Doug Cropper

1991-Hologrammed NTC type using smaller
character dies than 1993 NTC issue

1993- National Trooper's Coalition souvenir

2002- National Trooper's Coalition souvenir
 

1978- Personalized for private vehicle use
 

Breath Alcohol Testing van
 

Click on the image for a larger picture

These pictures courtesy of Mike Crosby
Taken at the NTC picnic hosted by
The Maine State Police

Motorcycle owned by
Trooper Thomas Fiske, Maine State Police