(12/14/2016)
The Calhoun Commission has promoted the keeping of a WV State Police presence in the county by providing free space for their use in the Calhoun Courthouse.

The agency has promised to keep the same or increased officers patrolling the county.

The detachment has been moved to Glenville, a location several miles east of Glenville on State Route 5, where official business will be conducted.

Officers assigned to the county will be able to use the courthouse space located in the basement, the space formerly used by the LK Economic Development Council and used by the Calhoun Wood Festival.

"Thanks to the cooperation of Diane Ludwig (LKDC) and the Wood Festival committee. The troopers who work here want to stay here," said commissioner Chip Westfall.

"I believe the State Police is a great asset in Calhoun County. This was accomplished by our county not giving up and various agencies willing to take the time to listen to what we had to offer," said commissioner Kevin Helmick.

CALHOUN COMMISSIONERS CONTINUE FIGHT TO KEEP STATE POLICE DETACHMENT - A Done Deal?

1/12/2016 By Bob Weaver

The Calhoun Commission has spent several days trying to prevent the closure of the WV State Police detachment in Grantsville, after learning about the State Police decision last week to close three barracks, Grantsville, Elizabeth and Hundred.

This is the agencies third attempt to close the Grantsville detachment, now over state budget cuts.

The Elizabeth detachment closure order has been stepped up to December 16, the office being packed up Wednesday.

The commission, during a Monday meeting, passed a resolution against the closure, which was delivered Tuesday to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Commissioners Chip Westfall, Kevin Helmick and Delegate Roger Hanshaw met with Tomblin's chief of staff Chris Stadleman.

Westfall said the governor's office seemed to be open to the commission's proposal that the county would provide a free of charge office in which the local officers would operate, although the actual detachment would be closed.

The State Police said the closures of the three leased facilities would save $62,000, citing recent state budget cuts, while indicating no personnel would lose their jobs.

Commissioner Westfall said a number of Calhoun citizens had made offers to provide a physical facility free, but the commission is proposing office space at Calhoun's 911 Center.

"At the very least we're hopeful to have a workplace or substation for officers in Calhoun, although they would be assigned to Glenville," Westfall said.

Commissioner Kevin Helmick said, "The community spirit came to the front with several citizens offering to provide a free space."

Colonel C. R. "Jay" Smithers said that troopers assigned to Calhoun would continue to work their hours in the county without reporting to the Glenville detachment.

Currently five officers are assigned to the county, although the detachment commander Sgt. Godfrey is going on active military duty and another trooper is reportedly being reassigned to Spencer.

A public meeting held Monday in Elizabeth provided no reassurance that the detachments would not be closed, according to Col. Smithers.

Commissioner Westfall and Calhoun sheriff-elect Jeff Starcher attended the meeting.

"The superintendent, at the Wirt meeting, said the closures would actually improve coverage in the county, and did not seem interested in the counties providing free space," said commissioner Westfall.

"We appear to be near the end of our resources to stop the closure," concluded commissioner Helmick.

READ Closure of West Virginia State Police Detachment concerns Wirt County residents - State Police to shutter Elizabeth detachment  by Brett Dunlap for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel

AND 'THIS IS A HORRIBLE IDEA' CLOSING GRANTSVILLE STATE POLICE BARRACKS - Calhoun Commission Passes Resolution, Taking Legal Action


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