FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners Tuesday approved using $11,320 from a federal grant to buy four hand-held cameras and four rigid cases for the Sheriff’s Office.

Operation Stonegarden grants are part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They are used to enhance the security of U.S. borders and territories. The Sheriff’s Office participates in the program.

The forward-looking cameras contain sensors that detect thermal radiation, typically emitted from a heat source, to create an image assembled for video output.

In another matter, commissioners agreed to purchase and install two security cameras for the District Attorney’s Office for an estimated $1,000 to $1,200.

They also approved using Seacoast Security Inc. of Waterville for a new panic button system for county offices that will alert the county communications center. Amanda Simoneau, acting director of the center and deputy director of the county Emergency Management Agency, said alarms would be treated as a 911 hangup and a law enforcement officer would respond.

The initial cost is $1,960 with a $30 monthly fee for five years.

Commissioners also accepted Simoneau’s request to hire three dispatchers. An interview committee made the recommendations.

Jeffrey Dresser of Farmington was hired to fill the full-time position. He has 30 years experience as a first responder, she said. Felicia Floyd of Farmington, who has worked for the jail for several years and is a full-time dispatcher in Augusta, was hired for the utility position. Henry Nowinski of the Livermore Falls area is a part-time dispatcher. He has customer service experience and is an on-call volunteer for the Livermore Falls Fire Department.

In another matter, commissioners agreed to move the county caucus among selectmen to fill open seats on the Budget Advisory Committee. It will be April 6 as requested by the committee. The caucus is normally held in March.

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