ELLSWORTH, Maine — Court security officers at the Hancock County Courthouse got a surprise visit and recognition Thursday for their work.
Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, head of the state’s Judicial Branch, appeared at the courthouse Thursday morning to bestow the branch’s 2011 Roy Rice Award on the courthouse’s judicial marshal team. The Roy Rice Award is given each year to a person or group who has “made an outstanding contribution to the safety and well-being of the employees of the Judicial Branch and people who participate in court activities,” according to a statement released by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Members of the judicial team honored Thursday include Sgt. Jeff Cash and Marshal William Gardella of Ellsworth as well as part-time marshals Crystal Hobbs and Jim Gallacher of Winterport, Eben Richardson of Bar Harbor, Mike Dudley of Belfast, Chris McDonald of Holden, Rex Kelley of Searsport and Dick Treworgy of Brewer.
“The Ellsworth marshal team was singled out for their ability to diffuse tense courtroom situations,” Saufley said in the statement. “Their coolness in heated moments is often recognized by the very people whom they have to escort from the courthouse, who are themselves grateful when the marshals can de-escalate a tense situation.”
Other judges and state officials joined Saufley as she presented the award to the marshals, according to Clerk Terri Harding.
“It came as a total surprise,” Harding said. “It’s a huge, huge honor.”
Saufley is expected to confer other Judicial Branch awards for 2011 in the coming week.
An early version of this story requires correction. Hancock County Courthouse's judicial marshal team was given the 2011 Roy Rice Award.