New digs for Knox County Public Safety

By Kim Lincoln | Mar 06, 2013
Photo by: Kim Lincoln The Knox County Communications department has lots more space.

Rockland — The public got its first peek at the new location for Knox County Public Safety the afternoon of March 5. Staff opened the doors to the facility for an open house after officially moving into building on March 1.

The renovated building houses the sheriff's office, communications center and Knox County Emergency Management Agency.

The county awarded a $1,212,208 contract in August 2012 to Ganneston Construction Corp. of Augusta for the work, which included adding a 2,000-square-foot addition for the communications center. EMA Director Ray Sisk said emergency management was able to secure nearly $400,000 in grants to go toward renovating the space.

The communications center allows for an expanded work space. The center previously operated out of a couple of rooms in the former sheriff's office at the Knox County Jail.

"It's pretty exciting, everyone is very proud," said Knox County Communications Supervisor Stephanie Gibbs.

The center now provides for a separate office space, which allows for private conversations with employees, making recordings of calls if needed and also storage, Gibbs said.

Dispatcher John Gamage said the center has two people on duty around the clock and, at times, up to four people working.The department has 10 full-time dispatchers, one director and one supervisor and they take about 30,000 calls each year.

The new center has four to six consoles, which Gamage said can support dispatchers from another county utilizing the space if needed. Knox dispatchers worked in Waldo County for a week during the move, he said.

There also is a large screen on the wall with a map that pinpoints the exact locations of where calls are going, Gamage said.

The EMA offices contains a large conference room and several offices. Sisk said the office has space for Red Cross volunteers to set up shop in the event of a disaster and said he is particularly excited to be able to hold training classes at the office, instead of at various town offices or schools. The sheriff's office has evidence and interview rooms, a lab, a conference room and offices for the sheriff, detectives and deputies.

The building was previously owned by Village NetMedia.

Courier Publications Copy Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 120 or by email at



County employees have moved into the Knox County Public Safety Building at 301 Park St. (Photo by: Kim Lincoln)
Sheriff Donna Dennison shows off her new corner office March 5. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
Knox County Sheriff's Office Administrative Assistant Linda Lasko-Hall gives Rockland City Manager James Smith, middle, and Fire Chief Charlie Jordan Jr. a tour of the new offices March 5. (Photo by: Kim Lincoln)
Detective Dwight Burtis discusses building improvements and his window seat March 5. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
Knox County Sheriff's Deputies Matt Elwell, left, and Paul Simonetti work together at the new sheriff's office March 5. (Photo by: Kim Lincoln)
Lt. Kirk Guerette says he has the best office in the building. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
The new 911 center has more than twice the consoles than before. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
Knox County Communications Director Linwood Lothrop explains "the brains" of the 911 center. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
The radio tower for Knox County Communications towers over the new public safety location … and Knox County EMA Director Ray Sisk. (Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Russell Garfield York | Mar 06, 2013 19:16

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