Skip to main content


February 1st, 2023


Director Roy McKinney stepped into the role of Director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency in 1997 after completing a 20-year career with the Bangor Police Department, retiring from that agency as Lieutenant in the Criminal Investigation Division. Hired as the MDEA Bureau Director during the Governor Angus King administration, Director McKinney has served under 4 different Maine Governors and 7 Commissioners of Public Safety.

In 1997, when Roy took over, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency was in a transition period. It lacked adequate funding, resources, leadership and a clear direction and mission. Having been assigned as a Special Agent and Supervisory Special Agent within MDEA’s Bangor Task Force (and its predecessor, the Bureau of Intergovernmental Drug Enforcement (BIDE)) in the years preceding his retirement from the City of Bangor, Roy had a keen understanding of some of the challenges facing this agency and how best to get it back on track; with a focus on trust, professionalism, teamwork and establishing a positive agency reputation within New England and across the nation. Today he leads an agency comprised of 8 field offices across the State of Maine, staffed by personnel from local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

From the moment he took this position, Roy understood that, although illicit drugs were a local problem, the solution to combat this epidemic required a regional and, in fact, national strategy. As such, in 1998 Roy became an active member of the National Association of State Drug Enforcement Agencies (NASDEA). As a past president, current Northeast Representative and longest tenured member of this organization, Roy continues to work with his counterparts from across the United States on best practices, training, national trends and has established invaluable contacts that are often utilized during drug investigations that occur within this state. In addition to NASDEA, Roy currently serves as a board member for New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) organization and serves a key role in keeping MDEA’s state and federal counterparts from around New England informed on drug threats facing Maine.

Over his MDEA career as Director, Roy has worked diligently to secure financial resources from a variety of sources to ensure proper funding for personnel, training, technology, and equipment. In 2005, through federal grant opportunities Roy was able to secure funding to establish a state-wide clandestine laboratory response team to address the increased availability of locally processed methamphetamine and its dangerous by-products discarded after the drugs manufacturing process. With state-of-the-art equipment and training, this team was able to successfully respond to and safely mitigate 500 lab incidents to date since its inception.

Roy has also authored other federal grants for the purchase of other essential equipment for agents to perform their duties in the safest manner possible. Items such as, portable gas mass spectrometry drug testing devices (Tru-NARC), money counters, state of the art electronic monitoring devices, body armor and portable x-ray equipment, to name a few.

Notably, over the past 25 years, countless agents have been assigned to MDEA under Director McKinney’s mentoring and guidance, returning to their respective law enforcement agencies where they have risen in rank and responsibility. Many have since become department Commanders, Chiefs of Police, and even the Commissioner of Public Safety.

After an, undeniably, successful, and prestigious 45-year career as a public servant, Roy retired on December 31, 2022. His leadership within the Department of Public Safety/Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has left an indelible mark on this state. His service, dedication and commitment to this agency, his employees and the citizens of the State of Maine are unmatched by any standard.

The NASDEA Executive Board, and the entire NASDEA membership congratulates Roy on over four decades of public service and wishes him the best of luck as he embarks on a new chapter in life.