(06/07/2001)
The Hur Herald issued a Freedom of Information request Tuesday with the West Virginia State Police. Sgt. John Bonazzo of the Grantsville Detachment and his supervisor, David Garrett of Spencer have ignored numerous FAX and phone requests to validate problems the agency is having regarding police coverage in Calhoun.

The Herald published verbatim a May 11th memo given to Calhoun Control by Sgt. Bonazzo, informing them the State Police could no longer take after hours calls from the 911 center because of personnel problems.

"We cannot take after hours calls from Calhoun Control. Please do not call my officers direct or South Charleston for night calls..." according to the memo. Sgt. Bonazzo said The Herald published the directive out of context. (SEE The Herald May 11th)

Sgt. Bonazzo has indicated the information was an inter-departmental memo, intended only for Calhoun Control. The Herald contends the information should be public and is not confidential, since it affects police coverage to the citizens of Calhoun County.

The agency did not inform Sheriff Allen Parsons of the policy change.

The Herald has since heard the agency has rescinded the policy not to provide after hours coverage to the county, but the agency has refused to validate.

The agency has implied wrongdoing by The Herald.

The Herald maintains the State Police should not conceal such information to the public, and such concealment is in violation of the Freedom of Information Act in the State of West Virginia.

The Herald wrote to the agency stating "We stand ready to support the West Virginia State Police in whatever way we can, and sincerely hold with respect the challenging work facing law enforcement."


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