A first-of-its-kind report on the activities of a Maine State Police intelligence agency drew criticism Friday from lawmakers who said the report fell short of expectations and that more accountability is needed.

The report was delivered to lawmakers on the Legislature’s Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety following legislation last spring that put in place a new annual reporting requirement for the Maine Information and Analysis Center. The report includes information on the types of cases, crimes and reports the center has reviewed, and includes the results of a twice-annual privacy audit.

But some lawmakers said it wasn’t detailed enough, and they still have questions about how the center works.

“It is quite clear that the recently submitted report from MIAC meets neither the word nor the intent of the recently passed law,” Rep. Bill Pluecker, an independent from Warren, said in an email.

The law requires the center to provide “a general narrative about the types of cases, crimes, incidents and reports the center has reviewed and evaluated,” but Pluecker said there was no narrative.

“There was a list of numbers outlining the work they did … however, there was no information at all about the significance of the work or if there were clear outcomes from the work they did,” he said. “There was no narrative whatsoever.”


“The discrepancy between the law we passed, L.D. 12, to have a broader understanding of what MIAC is doing … and the report that we were provided really just demonstrates a lack of accountability and transparency within MIAC,” said Rep. Grayson Lookner, D-Portland.

The Maine Information and Analysis Center is one of more than 70 so-called fusion centers in the United States that were created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to help agencies prevent future attacks by sharing information, though many of the centers have since taken on more of a role in domestic crime fighting. In Maine, the center is the intelligence arm of the Maine State Police and part of its specialty services.

The annual report comes after the center was the focus of a 2020 whistleblower complaint from a state trooper in Scarborough who said he was demoted and turned down for a new position in retaliation for calling out illegal activity at the center. Four of the six claims George Loder made in a federal lawsuit were dismissed by a judge last year, though the case is still working its way through the court system on two other counts. The complaint and a subsequent leak of hacked documents from the center raised questions among some lawmakers last year about the value of the center.

Maj. Brian Scott of the Maine State Police, a member of the MIAC advisory board, said in an email Friday that state police had initiated the legislation that resulted in the new reporting requirement in an effort to promote the center’s work and increase transparency.


“We are hopeful that it provides the reader with a better understanding of the MIAC’s role in Maine’s overall public safety efforts,” he said.


The center had 3,146 entries in its activity reporting system and assisted 387 different federal, state, local, tribal and private sector partners in 2021, the report said. “The biggest workload for the MIAC in 2021 was receiving and disseminating information and intelligence,” the report states. “This occurred 812 times.”

The center also received 405 requests for information from partners on a variety of issues including burglary, child pornography, counter terrorism, criminal mischief, death investigations and homicides, kidnapping, missing persons and other crimes.

It disseminated 118 bulletins to provide information to law enforcement and others, including “wanted” bulletins for fugitives and people for whose arrest there was probable cause, and “situational awareness” bulletins on criminal and suspicious activity and safety matters such as missing children and elderly.

There were 18 entries from the center made to the FBI’s “eGuardian” system, which allows law enforcement and public safety officials to share terrorism-related information and validated suspicious activity reports. An example of a submission to the system would be a social media threat of violence to a school.

The center also received four requests for facial recognition to assist with criminal investigations. The requests all came from out-of-state agencies and were forwarded to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. They were related to child abuse, human trafficking, sexual assault and felony theft.



Sen. Susan Deschambault, D-York, who sponsored the legislation creating the reporting requirement and who co-chairs the committee, said Friday that she was satisfied with the contents of the report. She said much law enforcement information is confidential and the report still gives a sense of the work the center does.

“It gives us oversight so we don’t end up asking, ‘What the heck is MIAC about?'” Deschambault said. “Now we know. I don’t see us getting more information than we’re getting here.”

Rep. Lois Galgay Reckitt, D-South Portland, another committee member, said Friday that she didn’t have a chance to read the entirety of the two privacy audits, which were each over 70 pages.

“I didn’t see anything new from what I had known,” she said.

Reckitt said it was hard to see value in the report, though she thought its existence was a step in the right direction. Asked if she would try to pursue any additional oversight or legislation, Reckitt said she couldn’t say without talking to other committee members.

“I really don’t have enough information to decide whether or not there was a problem and if there was, if there still is,” she said. “It’s just not clear. There’s not enough substance to have an opinion really.”


Two Republicans on the committee, Sen. Scott Cyrway of Albion and Rep. Richard Pickett of Dixfield, said they hadn’t yet had a chance to review the report when contacted about it Friday.

Pluecker, meanwhile, said lawmakers should take another look at the duties of and funding for the center.

“At a time when the Department of Public Safety time and time again is looking for more General Fund dollars to put officers in the streets, Mainers need to be able to review the work of MIAC to ensure it is the best, most productive use of Maine’s tax dollars at stopping crime,” he said.


An outside group also issued its own report on the center Friday written by five authors, including Brendan McQuade, an assistant professor of criminology at the University of Southern Maine who studies fusion centers and their role in the criminal-legal system.

The report raised concerns that the center has drifted from its original national security mission, that the center’s privacy policy and privacy audit process are flawed, and that the true impacts of the center on vulnerable populations such as people who suffer from substance use disorders or mental health illness are not known.

“The Maine Information and Analysis Center Annual Report is as underwhelming as we anticipated: a descriptive summary of MIAC’s activity that does not have enough detail to provide meaningful insight into the MIAC’s work or real oversight of it,” the authors of the report said in a statement.

Scott, the State Police major, said that it would be inappropriate for the center or the Department of Public Safety to comment on the outside report since officials have not yet had a chance to review it.

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