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UMPI’s Andrew Levesque named 2012 Maine Policy Scholar

Wednesday, 04 April 2012

The Maine Community Foundation has announced the Maine Policy Scholars 2011-2012 class. Students from campuses throughout the University of Maine System have been selected to pursue a year-long program of applied research in the area of Maine public policy.

At the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Andrew Levesque, a senior Criminal Justice major from Madawaska, is researching police management policy issues in Maine and the impact federal funding cuts are having on them. Levesque will be recommending strategies that might help agencies avoid financial shortcomings when federal funding is no longer available.

"What brought my attention to my topic was an article in the Bangor Daily News titled 'Maine law enforcement preparing for federal spending cuts'," Levesque said. "I believe that this topic is important to study in order to find out how Maine law enforcement can become less dependent on federal funds when they disappear. The goal is to find out the best way for all law enforcement agencies in Maine to become sustainable and continue to provide services for their communities."

Levesque will produce a final report in the form of a memo to the Governor or appropriate policymaker, which outlines the issue and the data available, and recommended policy solutions. In the late spring, he will present the report in the form of a briefing to a panel of policymakers.

Levesque recently had the opportunity to prepare for this presentation by delivering a talk on his research during the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) conference held in mid-March in New York City.

During the course of the academic year, Maine Policy Scholars work with a faculty advisor, in Levesque's case, Dr. Charles Johnson, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice. Other 2011-2012 scholars include Lucas Butler, University of Maine at Farmington; Owen Cunnane, University of Maine at Fort Kent; Benjamin Goodman, University of Maine; and John McLaughlin, University of Maine at Augusta.

The late Peter Cox established the Maine Scholars Fund at the Maine Community Foundation in 1987. The program was introduced in 1995 and is managed by the community foundation with input from an advisory committee.

A statewide foundation with offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation partners with donors and nonprofits to strengthen Maine communities. For more information, visit www.mainecf.org or call toll-free 1-877-700-6800.