(05/11/2001)
West Virginia State Police in Calhoun County will not take routine after hours or night calls, according to a memo from Sgt. John Bonazzo of the Grantsville Detachment. Bonazzo says the department is shorthanded because Trooper Ellyson has been transferred to Clay County and other situations with his officers, including training, time-off and vacation.

He suggests when no local units are available, "then Clay County or Roane County will probably have to take the call."

"Legally and technically I cannot make a trooper be on-call during his time off," he said.

Sgt. Bonazzo advised Calhoun Control-911 of the new policy last night. Sheriff Allen Parsons learned about the policy change from Calhoun Control. "We're stretched covering the county now," he said. "I'll do my job, regardless of what the State Police do," although he said it gets very difficult.

The memo says "We cannot take night calls from Calhoun Control. Please do not call my officers direct or South Charleston for night calls. Each independent department (referring to the Calhoun Sheriff's Department) should be answering their own after hours calls."

Here is the text of Sgt. Bonazzo's memo:

To: Calhoun Control Dispatchers

From: Sgt. Bonazzo

Date: 05/10/01

With the transfer of TFC Ellyson, our detachment is shorthanded. This combined with the fact my officers must attend state police schools such as in-service and SRT training etc., vacations, CDO's etc., makes our man power situation even worse, We must adopt the following policy in regards to calls after hours.

The state police will take calls after hours that come in through the state police dispatch center. We cannot take night calls for Calhoun Control. Please do not call my officers direct or South Charleston for night calls. Each independent department should be answering their own after hours calls.

If the call is a 911 emergency by all means my officers should be contacted, but routine night calls such as accidents, public intoxication etc. should be handled by each respective department.

If you receive a state police schedule and it has an officer listed as on-call, this is for emergency situations only. The officer on-call is not to answer any routine calls. If you have a call and the schedule says an officer is on-call, we do not have anybody. If there are no local units available then Clay County or Roane County will probably have to take the call. Legally and technically I cannot make a trooper be on-call during his time off.

Thank you

Most Troopers assigned to Calhoun County in recent years have lived out of the county. Several years ago the department threatened to take the detachment out of Grantsville.


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