ROCKLAND, Maine — Two police officers in Maine were fired and are facing animal cruelty charges after using their batons to beat porcupines to death, authorities said.

Former Rockland Officers Addison Cox, 27, of Warren, and Michael Rolerson, 30, of Searsmont, also face charges of hunting at night, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Rockland Police Chief Chris Young confirmed the firing of two officers but declined to divulge details, asking members of the community to trust that he handled the situation appropriately.

"A tremendous amount of power is given to those who wear a badge and are tasked with protecting their communities; it's a power that I do not take lightly," he posted on social media.

Police say the animal cruelty charges stem from the officers using retractable batons to kill porcupines while on duty, The Courier-Gazette newspaper reported. A third officer videotaped the killings and shared them to Snapchat groups, the newspaper reported.

A prosecutor didn't return a message from The Associated Press seeking details.

Both former police officers are working with the union that represents them to appeal their dismissals.

Paperwork filed in court in Rockland didn't indicate whether either officer had an attorney. The AP was unable to locate phone numbers for either of the officers.