Commissioner says sheriff should have seen problems with locks earlier


A matter of timing: Hancock County Commissioner Brad Armstrong said the purchase of new jail locks could have been included in a bond taken out last year. (Daily Reporter file photo)

GREENFIELD — Sheriff’s department officials should have noticed problems with aging jail locks long before they came up for emergency replacement, Commissioner Brad Armstrong says.

Armstrong was critical of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday, the same day two bids were opened to replace locks on cell doors.

Often in county government, he pointed out, newly elected officials don’t learn the ropes from their predecessors. The lack of transition and follow-up, he suggested, allowed the maintenance of the security system at the jail to reach crisis stage.

“Somebody took care of those locks four years previous, and somebody took care of the locks four years previous to that,” Armstrong said. “What really frustrates me is the transition of power seems to be so abrupt they forget everything they’ve learned in four or eight years. The bad thing is, the taxpayers are stuck footing the bill for that because of a poor transition and poor communication.”

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