County employees concerned
with Superior Court security
By Tony Reaves, Staff Writer Sun Journal Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011
PARIS — A disturbance at the the Oxford County Courthouse raised the question of whether the county should install panic buttons in all offices.
During a meeting of the Oxford County Commission, Register of Deeds Patricia Shearman told commissioners that a man came down the stairs from the courtroom last week shouting, “Arrest me!”
The door to the deeds office is at the bottom of the courtroom stairs, and Shearman said she was concerned the man might enter the office.
She said another county employee watched the man go to his van and stare back at the courthouse before Paris police came and spoke with him.
County Administrator Scott Cole said that while the courtrooms have panic buttons to alert police of unruly situations, the building isn't wired to extend them to every office.
Emergency Management Agency Director Allison Hill said that in previous years, when there have been loud noises she and other EMA personnel have locked the door to their basement offices.
James Miclon, director of the county Regional Communications Center, said the office phones came with an intercom system. He also offered to set a speed dial for Shearman and other county employees to dial directly into the county dispatch center, which is on the property. He said a 911 call on a cell phone would first go to Gray before being redirected to the county communications center, wasting seconds.
Sheriff Wayne Gallant suggested setting up a lockdown procedure if things get out of hand in the courthouse. People accused of committing felonies in Oxford County go to Superior Court, which is upstairs from county offices such as the Registry of Deeds and the Probate Office.