Arnett Gaston, head of the Prince George's County Detention Center, says that he has fired a guard, demoted a captain, fired a lieutenant and placed a jail medical technician on unpaid administrative leave during the last four months.

Gaston said in a telephone interview Thursday that he fired Troy Kelly, a guard, last November after an incident Aug. 20 in which inmates tried to escape from the jail by sawing through bars.

Kelly, who was on duty, did not make inmates turn down the volume on a movie they were watching, Gaston said, and the sound muffled the noise made by the saw. The escape attempt was not successful. Gaston also said Kelly's work record contributed to the disciplinary action. Kelly could not be reached for comment.

Gaston also said that Capt. Alvin Martin was demoted to lieutenant last month and Lt. Michael Tidwell was dismissed several weeks ago, both for "conduct unbefitting their jobs." Martin declined to comment and Tidwell could not be reached. Gaston also said he put medical technician Jimmy Proffitt on administrative leave, but did not explain the reasons. Proffitt could not be reached for comment.

"We are not going to tolerate lack of diligence or improprieties," Gaston said in the interview. "I made up my mind that we are going to clean house." The jail has experienced several problems in the last year, including an escape, several attempted escapes and--according to published reports--frequent sexual assaults among male inmates.