Franklin County hires 2 corrections officers, seeks cruiser quotes

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FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to hire two full-time corrections officers to fill two vacancies at the Franklin County Detention Center.

Corrections staff recommended Casey Boulay and Natasha Perez, both of Jay, to be hired, Sheriff Scott Nichols Jr. said.

Boulay has been working at the jail since Aug. 1. He was hired part time and moved to temporary full time on Oct. 17.

Perez is a certified corrections officer and working at Somerset County Jail in Madison. There were no full-time positions available at that jail, Nichols said.

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Both will be good additions to the staff, he said.

Commissioners also agreed to continue with Maine Pretrial Services at the jail for six months and then to put the supervisory service out to bid.

Maine Pretrial Services is a nonprofit agency providing pretrial bail supervision of defendants who are charged with crimes or probation violations and might otherwise have to wait in jail until trial, according to its website. Judges can impose conditions such as substance abuse or mental health counseling.

Franklin County commissioners entered into a one-year contract with Maine Pretrial Services in August 2016 at a cost of $70,683. It was a 1.5 percent increase over the contract the county had with the agency in 2015. The agency was the only bidder in 2016.

A representative of the agency works out of a room off the jail’s lobby.

In other business, Chief Deputy Steven Lowell told commissioners a 2015 Ford Interceptor cruiser, which has nearly 78,000 miles on it, works sometimes and does not work other times. The three-year, 36,000-mile warranty has expired.

The cruiser will shut down at times while it is being driven and it does not give a code such as the check engine light, he said.

When it shuts down the steering could go because it is steering by wire and it is not a mechanical steering box, Nichols said.

Sometimes the dash lights start flashing and bells go off, Lowell said. The cruiser was taken back to the dealership to be looked at and when it was returned it ran for a while and then it began to shut down again, he said.

“We think it is a safety issue,” Lowell said.

There is enough money in the Sheriff’s Department mileage reimbursement from the Operation Stonegarden federal Homeland Security Grant program after factoring in a trade-in value to get another cruiser, Lowell said.

He asked two dealerships to give quotes on a new cruiser prior to the commissioners’ meeting. He has received one from Quirk Auto Group in Augusta and was expecting a quote from Farmington Ford on Tuesday afternoon. He also contacted Bailey Brothers Ford in Livermore Falls after he left the commissioners’ meeting, Lowell said in the afternoon.

In August, commissioners approved buying four 2017 Ford Explorer Interceptors at a cost of $96,268 factoring in trade-ins. This year’s budget included $90,000 for cruisers, and the remaining $6,268 came from Stonegarden mileage reimbursement.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

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