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Metro police could be in Harrison County's future

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

The Harrison County Commission scheduled a June 14 meeting with the Law Enforcement Council to discuss the possibility of implementing a county-wide metro police force.

"We would have to study the feasibility. It's probably a five-year process," said Commis-sioner Thomas Keeley at Thursday's regular meeting.

Issues that need to be studied include funding possibilities and the prospect of having a police commission, made up of representatives from each of the city's police departments, to govern the force.

The metro police department would respond to calls county-wide, much like the existing 911 center does now, Keeley said.

A county-wide police force would help relieve the burden of small towns to support their police departments and also save duplication of crime investigations when a criminal travels between different cities in the county, Keeley said.

"It would be better pay for the officers, better equipment, and better protection for the citizens," Keeley said.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Roger Diaz asked the commission to draft correspondence to Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. and Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va. about securing funding for sewer service in the outlying unincorporated areas of the county.

Diaz said that basic services such as sewer and water should be provided to residents in the county, and he is hoping the federal government will help provide funding.

The commission agreed to draft the letters.

In other business:

n Jim Simms was sworn in as a member of the Harrison County Solid Waste Authority.

n A check was presented to the town of West Milford for $4,000 for uses in their community center and the community building.

n Commissioners discussed obtaining funding for a new terminal building at the Benedum Airport.

Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1443.

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