New judge readyPublished 5:05am Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Doug Agerton will be sworn into office as Escambia County probate judge in January, but he said he is working to familiarize himself now with the work he will do at the courthouse.
“I am already working to make sure I’m ready to help the people of this county the day I take office,” Agerton said. “I’m anxious to get in the office and start working on things right away.”
Agerton defeated incumbent Emilie Mims in the November election.
One of the things Agerton knows he will have to handle early on in his term in the office will be to handle cases where mental health care is an issue.
“I’m already studying and learning all that I can about our mental health issues in the county,” Agerton said. “Mental health issues and commitments happen a lot in the county, and it doesn’t always happen between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. I want to know everything I can about what is available to our citizens who need mental health care and do what’s best for them.”
Agerton said some of the work he is doing to make sure he makes good decisions for those needing in-patient mental health care is to know more about the facilities available for those commitments.
“I’ve already talked with a lot of mental health workers and directors in our area and in other areas of the state,” Agerton said. “My goal is to go to the facilities that serve mental health patients to see what they offer. I want to be able to tell a family what to expect and know where their loved one is going. If the facilities know that I’m concerned, they should do their best at their job. I want to know everything to I can about these facilities — not just for the patient, but for their families.”
Along with working to learn about mental health care for its citizens, Agerton said he is anxious to make some changes that will be of benefit to those citizens in the west end of the county.
“Right now, the people in the other end of the county use the services we offer at the satellite office there,” Agerton said. “I want to see some improvements to better help the people in the west end of the county and the only way to do that is to get in there and get started.”
Already familiarizing himself with staff in the probate office, Agerton said he’s looking forward to working with an efficient group of employees.
“The office staff are already do a good job,” Agerton said. “I know they make the office work. They are obviously good at what they do.”
Agerton said he’s happy to know that the office is already running smoothly, and hopes to see that continue.
“I know we will have a smooth transition in the office,” Agerton said. “I’m ready to get in and work with the staff to serve the people of Escambia County.”