ELK GARDEN - Just prior to the conclusion of Tuesday's Elk Garden City Council meeting, mayor Marian Droppleman appointed James “Jimmy” Stewart as chief of police of Elk Garden.

For the News Tribune
ELK GARDEN - Just prior to the conclusion of Tuesday’s Elk Garden City Council meeting, mayor Marian Droppleman appointed James “Jimmy” Stewart as chief of police of Elk Garden.
This was after a motion to take such action passed unanimously by the council. Members of council and concerned citizens immediately began discussing measures they would take to reward Chief Stewart for standing up to help the city and cover expenses associated with his service.
This action flowed well with the theme of the evening, which was for businesses and citizens to come together to strengthen support for the good work of law enforcement across the county. The Mineral County Chamber of Commerce announced a new Drug Task Force Initiative, outlining supportive measures which include: Securing stronger fiscal support for law enforcement from resources outside the county, including grants; increasing the positive sentiment toward law enforcement officers, especially among the young in our public schools; bringing awareness of best practices new to us but used in comparable settings; and conveying the message that it will be increasingly bad business to do or deal drugs in Mineral County.
Commander Thomas Golden, retired senior instructor in the US Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, Washington, D.C., was introduced by Mineral County Chamber president John Lecky as a leader of the Chamber’s Initiative. Commander Golden promised a careful listening ear for the citizens and enthusiasm for working with Mineral County law enforcement agencies to assist their efforts as needed.
He introduced his wife, Commander Gwen Golden, retired special agent for the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, ATF, Washington, D.C., who will also serve on the task force. The Goldens are new full-time residents of Mineral County in the Fort Ashby area. Rodney and Terri Ryan, owners of Storm Mountain Training of Elk Garden, also plan to assist the chamber’s initiative but were training clients at Snowshoe, West Virginia, and unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting.
Mineral County Commissioners Jerry Whisner (president) and Rodger Leatherman were again in Elk Garden for the council meeting to show support for the community. Both have been participating in the chamber’s seven district meetings during the winter around the county, with the first being in Elk Garden on Jan. 21. They are acutely aware of the challenges that face the county and the diminishing resources available to address them.
They commended Chief Stewart for stepping up to serve and expressed appreciation for Mayor Droppleman’s forward-thinking commitment to the city. Both also expressed pleasure that Commanders Tom and Gwen Golden chose Mineral County as their new home.