By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,324)
It’s happened – it happens too often in fact. Every several weeks employees of City Hall have to call the Portland Police Department to diffuse a situation that employees are not trained to handle or “diffuse.”. Sometimes they are angry about a financial matter.they come to City Hall to resolve. Or they are angry about another matter. And they don’t mind telling everyone about it.
On Friday, June 5th, late in the day, a man came to the accounts payable department looking for his paycheck at City Hall because he said he’s a Portland Police Detective. The office did not have a check for him. The payroll department looked for him on city records and saw he is not an employee of the city according to a source close to the situation. The scruffy looking man said he waned to be employed as a police detective for Portland. He was taken to the Human Services Department to fill out an application.
One City employee googled him, Harold Rowe is a convicted murderer with an extensive criminal history which includes convictions for murder, aggravated assault, terrorizing and assault on an officer. Rowe is currently on probation. Although Rowe did nothing illegal at city hall, it was a frightening situation that has scared employees. He has made similar visits to City Hall in the recent past.
According to an article in The Bangor Daily News in 2012, Rowe was convicted of murder in the December 1982 shooting death of Michael G. Moore, 24, of Westbrook in a drug-related killing. He served 27 years in prison for that murder.
“We are like sitting targets here. It’s just a matter of time before there is an incident. This is a public building in the state’s largest city,” said one fearful employee today. “We really should have some on-site security to diffuse situations we can’t handle on our own.”
What do you think?
editor’s note: The nearby Portland Public Library, Congress Street, has a many year tradition of having full-time security on site