Calhoun's detachment commander Sgt. John Bonazzo, was transferred last
week back to Braxton County, where he maintains a residence. Sgt. Travis
Corbitt has been temporarily assigned to the Grantsville post, reportedly for
Bonazzo spent a little over a year at Grantsville, after being promoted to
Sergeant. Bonazzo climbed the ranks quickly after being on the the force
about six or seven years.
Bonazzo sent a memo to Calhoun Control-911 that said State Police would
no longer take after hours calls. He then became angry when The Hur Herald
published the cutback, stating the memo was a confidential
Sheriff Allen Parsons learned about the policy change from Calhoun
Control-911, stating "We're stretched covering the county now. I'll do my job
regardless of what the State Police do."
The Herald maintained police coverage should be public information and
filed a Freedom of Information request. Concerns still remain regarding the
level of coverage provided by the State Police.
Sgt. Bonazzo's misrepresented the coverage issue, stating the local police
provided inadequate after hours service. A memo from Bonazzo's supervisor
Sgt. David Garrett, obtained by the Freedom of Information Act said, "Sgt.
Bonazzo advised me that the Calhoun Sheriff's Department and the
Grantsville City Police were no longer taking calls after hours."
Local police were surprised to learn they did not provide after hours
coverage. Parsons and his deputies are known to be in constant motion. He
said "I have never refused a call, as far as I can remember."
Sgt. Garrett instructed Bonazzo to rescind his earlier memo denying State
Police coverage. Sgt. Garrett told Sgt. Bonazzo, the department would
respond to "any and all calls from any source," according to the FOIA
Another memo was sent to local emergency officials from State Police
Superintendent Col. Howard Hill. It asked for a new bridge of cooperation
between his agency and local services, stating a supervisor would come to
discuss the issue. The memo was ignored.
Numerous other problems have surfaced regarding State Police misconduct
in Calhoun County, with charges and lawsuits pending.
Trooper Doug Starcher has threatened to arrest Bob Weaver, Editor of The
Hur Herald on more than one occasion, which may be related to The Herald's
reporting on State Police problems.
Trooper Starcher threatened to arrest Weaver for "obstruction" (officer or
justice), after he took photos of a car wreck on U. S. 33, alluding to criminal
behavior. Arnoldsburg Fire Chief Bill Jones said "I nor my firemen saw any
wrongdoing by Mr. Weaver at the scene. He has always been professional.
We made him a member of our fire department."