Gov. Janet Mills will nominate a 25-year law enforcement veteran who is now the operations major of the Maine State Police to lead the agency, Mills announced Wednesday.

Maj. William Ross Photo courtesy of governor’s office

If confirmed, Maj. William Ross would replace Col. John Cote, who retired in September after 33 years with the state police.

Decades of experience in the field as a patrol officer and with command staff make Ross well-suited to lead the state police, Mills said in a written announcement.

“Major Ross is a dedicated law enforcement professional who exemplifies the Maine State Police’s values of integrity, fairness, compassion, and excellence,” she said.

Mills’ office did not immediately respond to a question about the salary Ross would be paid.

Once Ross is formally nominated, the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has 30 days to hold a confirmation hearing before the Maine Senate.

Ross, 50, is married with two children and lives in Cumberland County. He has been with the Maine State Police for 23 years. He first joined the force in 2000 as a York County trooper and has been promoted numerous times over the years. He is now the third-highest ranked official in the department, overseeing 285 of the 334 sworn state police positions.

“I am humbled to be nominated as the next colonel of the Maine State Police,” said Ross.

“To be given the opportunity to lead the largest police agency in Maine and work with so many great people is a true honor. There are many challenges that lay ahead for our agency and the law enforcement profession, and I look forward to working with our law enforcement partners, legislators and the communities we serve to keep Maine a safe place to live, work and visit.”

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