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County law enforcement heading in right direction

With new blood infused into the positions for sheriff, prosecuting attorney and circuit judge, we can't but help think that law enforcement in Harrison County is headed in the right direction.

For example, Jim Jack, the county's newly sworn-in sheriff, brings decades of experience with him to the top of this department. At 53, Jack has seen it all and will use that extensive knowledge to help him control crime on the county level.

It seems Jack has been able to "hit the ground running" because of his expertise. He says he and law enforcement are an ideal match and is looking forward to calling the shots.

Meanwhile, Harrison County's first new prosecutor in 32 years will attempt to focus on youth issues. At 31, and in charge of an office of nine attorneys, John Scott is pushing for the implementation of programs to address juvenile issues.

Scott plans to assign one assistant prosecutor to each of the county's public schools. He says he is concerned that every incident reported on school grounds doesn't meet standards set forth by the Safe Schools Act of 1997 and Scott wants to put teeth into that measure.

By taking a proactive role in the schools, Scott hopes to keep gang and drug-related issues that plague other school systems at bay. He also plans to fight truancy at the elementary school level.

And as Harrison County's first Division 3 circuit court judge, Jim Matish will use his legal expertise to guide cases through the county court system. He spent nearly 20 years in a Clarksburg law office establishing himself as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in town.

Simply put, Matish's presence will be invaluable in helping to reduce a backlog of cases in the system.

All three of these men have paid their dues and will contribute to the well-being of our county law enforcement system. We wish them well in their new posts and think they will do an admirable job.

Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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