DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A key piece of Piscataquis County’s Emergency 911 system crashed in recent weeks, prompting the purchase of a new recording device.
Piscataquis County commissioners on Tuesday approved the purchase order with the understanding that a new recorder at a cost of $4,271.15 already has been installed. The Sheriff’s Department has been putting money aside over the years for its replacement.
The recorder logs all calls to and from the department and all radio transmission from law enforcement in the county, Sheriff John Goggin told the commissioners Tuesday. “It’s a very essential part of our whole communications system,” he said. The old recorder will be repaired and used as a backup when necessary, he noted.
“It has really saved our bacon a number of different times,” Goggin said of the recording device. He said attorneys sometimes use the recordings in court cases. “It has been a lifesaver for the county.”
Commissioner Eric Ward, who was in Texas but participated in the meeting by conference call, thanked Tom Harvey, the Sheriff’s Department’s computer technician. “He did a really good job in researching it,” Ward said of the new purchase.
On another matter, it was announced that 14 firearms seized during two drug investigations that were forfeited through the court process would be auctioned off for Piscataquis County by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.
The commissioners accepted Goggin’s recommendation to have the assortment of rifles and shotguns sold at the organization’s auction this summer. SAM keeps 20 percent of the proceeds, and the rest will be set aside for the purchase of another snowmobile. The county purchased a new snowmobile late this winter and plans to purchase a second vehicle so officers won’t have to travel alone to investigations in remote areas.
In addition to the firearms, the county took possession of a 1996 GMC Sonoma that also was seized in connection with a drug bust. Bids will be solicited locally for that vehicle.
Goggin updated the commissioners on the six off-road motorbikes the department has obtained from the military. The surplus bikes, which had been used in Operation Desert Storm, were picked up in Texas in July by a sheriff’s deputy. A total of eight bikes were picked up, two of which were for the Limestone Police Depart-ment. That department reimbursed the Sheriff’s Department $200 for travel. The remaining bikes are being cannibalized to make two bikes that will be used for marijuana eradication in remote areas, according to Goggin.
The commissioners voted to sign a contract with the Bangor Humane Society for $1,035.49 for the care of stray cats and dogs from the Unorganized Territory. They also set an impound fee of $12 a day plus mileage that will be paid to the county. If a dog or cat is boarded in Bangor for one night, it will cost the owner $40. Each additional boarding day will increase the fee by $12 a day.