FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the request of the Sheriff’s Office to purchase body cameras and jail radios, and to pay for recertification training using drug forfeiture money.

The Sheriff’s Office received $93,606.20 in drug forfeiture money in April stemming from one of the largest drug busts in Franklin County in Avon in 2014. Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said at the time the money would go into the Asset Forfeiture Account to be used for startup equipment and training costs at the jail, and for equipment and training for the sheriff’s patrol division.

The portable jail radios are old. Two “went” last week, Nichols said. There are still three or four radios that work, he said.

He requested to use $2,140 from the forfeiture account to buy five Vertex 5-watt portable radios with associated equipment, including chargers.

Nichols also asked to use $4,036.29 from the account to buy eight body cameras for corrections personnel.

The initial quote they received from another company was about $7,000, Nichols said. They went looking for something more reasonable and came up with the lower-priced cameras.


“It is a good idea. We are getting false accusations against our guys,” he said. There are cameras at the jail in strategic places, he said. Not all capture audio. The body cameras would capture audio and video.

Nichols also requested to use $200 for Detective Stephen Charles to be recertified on Taser use. He is the training instructor for deputies.

Commissioners approved the three requests.

They also accepted a $500 bid from Taylor Walton of Brewer for a K-9 insert from a 2011 Ford SUV cruiser.

Clerk Julie Magoon advertised the insert and one bid was received.

Chief Deputy Steven Lowell said Lt. David Rackliffe requested that the $500 be used to buy lumber to build an obstacle course for K-9s behind the Sheriff’s Office where the old shooting range was located.


Commission Chairman Gary McGrane of Jay said the money would go into the county’s general fund, and they can ask for the funds when they purchase the lumber.

Commissioners also voted to accept the resignations of full-time corrections officers Kristian Lamontagne and Ethan Kyes.

Magoon said she posted the positions in-house and advertised outside for applicants. Hiring closes at the end of the month.

“They are very short-handed,” she said.

Nichols is hoping to get certified applicants for training purposes.

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