SKOWHEGAN — Cpl. Bob Weigelt, of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department, says he is just doing his job when he drives 90 minutes from his home in Jackman three or four days a week to his job in Skowhegan.

Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley, of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, says otherwise.

Weigelt, 72, a court security officer, is the 2015 recipient of the Roy Rice Award, given to a person who provides exemplary court security services for court employees and the public, according to a Judicial Department release. The sheriff’s department provides court security services to the Maine Judicial Branch at courthouses in Skowhegan.

“I was very much surprised and it’s very much undeserved,” Weigelt said. “Everybody does the job here. I was grateful to be singled out for it, but everybody else contributes. Everybody else works together as a team. No one person is any more deserving of it than any other.”

Sgt. Lori Ramsay, of the sheriff’s department, received the award last year, he said.

Saufley said Weigelt is deserving of the award.

“I am so pleased we could recognize Cpl. Weigelt for all he has done to make the Somerset County court facilities a safe place for the public to resolve disputes,” Saufley said in a news release. “He has been a mainstay providing security at the Superior and District Courts for nearly 15 years.

“He drives more than an hour and a half every day from Jackman to Skowhegan.”

But that’s not the only reason he got the award.

Saufley said Weigelt has all the qualities of an excellent court officer. He is observant and manages to defuse problems before they become more serious.

“Clerks express a great deal of gratitude for the work Bob does in protecting those who come to court in Skowhegan,” she said.

Chief Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere and State Court Administrator Ted Glessner presented the award to Weigelt. Bob’s wife and family were in attendance, as were Sheriff Dale Lancaster and several members of the sheriff’s department. Clerk of Court Susan Furbush and her staff also attended the presentation.

Weigelt said he has learned to defuse a potentially volatile situation at the courts to nip possible trouble in the bud.

“We try to downplay anything that happens. You watch people as they come through the door and kind of get a feel for what might be going on with them,” he said. “We try to maintain a professional attitude, and that defuses most things before they start.”

Weigelt grew up in Waterville and went to Waterville schools. He is the older brother of Waterville police Sgt. Alden Weigelt.

After high school, Bob Weigelt completed an apprenticeship with General Electric in Massachusetts and served in the National Guard. After working for a large dairy in Vermont and several years in various woods and paper mill operations with Scott Paper Co., S.D. Warren Co., Sappi and Plum Creek, Weigelt went to work in 1999 at the old Somerset County Jail in Skowhegan. He soon was made a deputy sheriff and began working as a transport officer.

“Then they asked me if I wanted to do court security, and I said yes,” he said.

Weigelt has lived in Jackman for 40 years with his wife, Helen, who operates a children’s day care center there. They have a son and a grandson.

“I allow myself two hours because of the traveling and because of the road conditions,” he said of the drive from Jackman, about 70 miles north of Skowhegan. “It usually takes me an hour and a half, an hour and forty-five minutes.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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