By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,398)
City Manager Jon P. Jennings, has asked Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck to expedite an internal working group to come with emergency response protocols in the event of a repeat of an incident at city hall on Thursday, August 20st. Jennings has also asked Fire Chief LaMoira to recommend an evacuation plan for city hall for the same reason given above.
Thursday afternoon a mentally ill 34 year old man went into several offices at city hall asking about employment. He was displaying erratic behavior and claimed to have a machette. He was found by officers exiting the building and taken into custody. No weapon was ever seen and he was not armed when encountered by officers. He was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. There was no evacuation. In a memo from Jennings to city staff following the incident, staff was asked to lock their doors and stay in their offices until the “all clear” message was delivered.
However, some people trying to conduct personal business at city hall were turned away and returned on Friday to complete their business.
Earlier this year, city hall had an incident written about herein. A Harold Rowe entered city hall offices looking for a paycheck because he said he was a police officer. Rowe has an extensive criminal record including a conviction for murder, aggravated assault, terrorizing and assault on an officer. Rowe did not threaten anyone nor did he do anything illegal, but city staff was concerned. City staff were told to call 911 if it happened again.