Maine’s budget crisis is forcing cuts in
security at the state’s courts, a trend that’s causing concern
among court leaders and legislators.
The judiciary had planned to hire 10 additional security
officers last year, but the move was scrapped as the state moved
further into the red. The situation has since gotten worse because
of a freeze on filling the positions of court officers who have
retired or left for other reasons.
The officers, known formally as marshals, screen for weapons and
provide other security duties at courts in 10 Maine counties. In
the other six counties, the state contracts with sheriffs’
departments for security details.
The judicial branch is authorized to have 63 marshals, but as of
last week only 46 were employed.