CALAIS — The Calais community is in shock following the arrest of a former Calais police officer who is accused of dealing drugs, at times from his police cruiser.
Calais residents describe the city in Washington County as close-knit. That’s why when the news broke Monday that a former Calais police officer had been arrested for allegedly selling drugs, many said they were surprised.
“When you have the police selling the drugs, who do you look to for help?” said Daniel Barnard, a Calais resident.
Cherryfield resident Jeffrey Bishop, 53, a former Calais police officer, was arrested Friday. Documents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency show Bishop is accused of trafficking and furnishing drugs, at times while on duty from his police cruiser, and another time to a minor on the grounds of Narraguagus High School.
“You basically know everyone around Calais, you know where they grow up, you know everybody in the school system. It’s a small community,” said Michael McLean, a resident of Calais. “It hits close to home right now when something like that happens.”
It’s a case that’s troubling Calais residents.
“I was very surprised. I think he was well-liked in the community,” said Dickey Quint of Calais. “Just a real shocker.”
“It was very, very shocking,” McLean said. “This is Calais. This is hometown people. You know your neighbors.”
One local parent told our news team he is also concerned.
“I have two kids in the elementary school locally here, and he used to sit there every morning before school. It just makes you wonder,” said Barnard about Bishop. “It’s really hard to trust the police and the government in this day and age at all. This just adds to the mixture of poison in our community right now.”
Our news team spoke with the Calais Police Chief Tuesday, who referred to a statement he released Monday, saying they’re “surprised and concerned” by the allegations.
The chief’s statement said if the accusations are true, it’s a “black eye” not only to the Calais department but to all of law enforcement.
“It is disruptive because we have a good police department. But we have bad ones everywhere. Individual bad cases and this happens to be one of them,” said another Calais resident outside the post office Tuesday.
Bishop was taken to the Aroostook County Jail following his arrest. Monday, a judge set his bail at $30,000 cash.
This is an ongoing investigation.
“I think it’s probably going to unwind a whole lot more,” Barnard said.