MARYLAND

500 locks malfunction at Montgomery County jail

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CLARKSBURG, Md. (AP) - Officials in Montgomery County have declared a security emergency after locks on about 500 cell doors at the main jail near Clarksburg simultaneously opened.

Arthur Wallenstein, director of the county's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tells The Washington Post that no inmates tried to escape when their cells were unlocked Saturday morning. The locks were reset within an hour.

Wallenstein says the cell door locks also disengaged Tuesday. Officials are trying to determine the source of the problem in the electronic system. The doors are guided by computer programs and correctional officers.

About 20 police cars were called to the perimeter of the facility Saturday. Maintenance workers and outside contractors were working on the jail system.

Wallenstein says any security door opening unexpectedly is a major security problem.

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