PARIS — Oxford County Sheriff Christopher Wainwright told commissioners Thursday that the state should pay most, if not all, of the cost of a radio repeater in the new courthouse addition so deputies can communicate via portable radios. He estimated the cost at $7,600.

When deputies bring prisoners from the jail to the nearby courthouse addition their radios do not work, which presents a significant safety issue, the sheriff said.

“Officers can’t communicate with portable radios among themselves,” Wainwright told commission Chairman Timothy Turner of Buckfield and Commissioners Steve Merrill of Norway and David Duguay of Byron via Zoom.

The sheriff said the reception problems didn’t exist in the building previously used as a courtroom.

“This issue was created by the state, and is a safety issue,” he said. “I feel like we should look to them to bear some, if not all, of the cost.”

Commissioners consented to Wainwright and county Administrator Tom Winsor contacting the Maine Judicial System to request it bear some or all of the expense.

District and Superior court clerks moved into the $9.52 million, two-story addition to the Oxford County Courthouse complex on Western Avenue in late January.


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