Aroostook County native to retire from leading the Maine State Police

The man leading the Maine State Police has announced his retirement from law enforcement after 33 years of service to the people of Maine. Col. John Cote will retire at the end of the month and begin a new chapter in an accomplished life. Thank you, Col. Cote.  

Col. Cote was appointed to the position in 2018 by then Governor Paul LePage. In a statement released on Tuesday, Cote says “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as a Maine trooper for over three decades. I have worked with many outstanding people who will continue to make the Maine State Police a premiere agency dedicated to keeping Maine a safe place to live and visit”. Cote's retirement will be brief, as he already has employment in place.  

The Maine State Police mission statement ends with the line “...we serve by practicing Integrity, Fairness, Compassion, and Excellence.” Having known Col. Cote personally, those are four words that perfectly describe the man that has been guiding our police for last 5 plus years.  


Col. Cote led the MSP during a time when our law enforcement became more heavily scrutinized than ever before. The nationwide movement leading up to and through the 2020 election put all law enforcement in the spotlight and under constant criticism. Col. Cote pressed forward through all of the rhetoric, journalistic investigations, and tragedy with his steady and consistent leadership. If integrity were measured, Cote would be the standard.  


Fairness is to be unbiased and impartial and Cote's entire career is an example of that. Through his 33 years he worked on some of the state's most high-profile cases as well as some of the most complicated cases. Whenever there was a case that the public needed more information about, Cote would take the podium and deliver the facts with a calm and steady tone. You knew that no matter the situation, with Cote leading you were in good hands.  


Compassion is one of the traits we don't often see in the public eye from leaders in law enforcement. I can tell you that compassion is natural trait within Col. Cote. Having been around him during some of my most impressionable years I was able to witness Cote's compassion towards anyone and everyone, regardless of their situation. I witnessed him set an example of being a dad to those with connections to him, and those without connections. I've drawn from those moments and brought them with me into my home and family.  


This has been the standard for Col. Cote personally and professionally. He was dedicated to the job and made sure to always do things the right way. Attention to detail with common sense is what made Col. Cote the right person to lead the state's top law enforcement agency. Cote's track record of excellence will carry on with him into the next chapter. Maine, whether you knew it or not, you had someone constantly watching out for you and your best interest.  

We thank you Col. Cote for your decades of service and protection. I thank you not just for your leadership and sacrifice, but for setting an example for me. Best of luck to you in retirement and as a wise man once said to me, “keep smiling.”

16 Unsolved Homicides in Maine from the Past 20 Years

Anyone with information about any of these crimes is encouraged to contact the Maine State Police.

16 Stories from Maine that Turned Up in News Across the Country

Whether they were happy or historical events, sad or tragic, these 15 Maine stories grabbed the nation's attention.

More From