KEYSER - Several agenda items at the Tuesday afternoon meeting of the Mineral County Commission centered on matters related to the local sheriff's department, including the hiring of two retired members of the Keyser Police Department.
By Jean Braithwaite
KEYSER - Several agenda items at the Tuesday afternoon meeting of the Mineral County Commission centered on matters related to the local sheriff’s department, including the hiring of two retired members of the Keyser Police Department.
A letter of resignation was accepted by the commissioners from Sandy Parker, law enforcement secretary, who has served in this position for many years, but is in the process of moving away from this area.
Sheriff Jeremy Taylor therefore asked the county commissioners to approve the hiring of two part-time individuals to fill Parker’s spot.
Approval for the hiring came from the commissioners and Karen Shumaker and Tom Roy will start working for the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department on the first of July.
Both Shumaker, who previously served as Keyser’s chief of police, and Roy, who was the senior communications officer for the city, had submitted their retirement letters during an early June meeting of the City of Keyser.
Shumaker and Roy had a combined time of employment of nearly 60 years in their employment with the City of Keyser.
Taylor said because the two will be part-time, “a savings of around $13,000” will be realized by the sheriff’s department, due to their reduced or no benefit package.
He gave the schedule for Shumaker and Roy, which will be between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, and Parker will be involved with the training of the two.
Taylor also mentioned that one of the two will work for two days per week, while the other will work for the remaining three days, with this schedule reversed the following week, and continue in this pattern.
He said, “They came together and will leave together,” and then the position of law enforcement secretary will be filled by a full-time person.
Another item of discussion with Taylor was the subject of the cost of security at the Apple Harvest Festival
He said, “We have deployed a lot of law enforcement officers,” as he added that all the sheriff’s officers “are there sometimes everyday” to provide security at the festival.
Taylor mentioned the four main areas of the festival that call for constant coverage by the officers as being three entrance spots along Route 50 and one on Patterson Creek Road.
He gave a high-end estimate of the cost of $5,000 to $6,000 for having the sheriff’s officers on hand for eight hours on the weekdays of the festival and 16 hours on the weekend, as he added, “Saturday is the worse day for needing officers on the scene.”
Taylor said, “The money comes from our annual budget,” while mentioning that there has never been any reimbursement from them,” referring to the officials of the Apple Harvest Festival.
He added that when his officers complete work for the Mineral County Board of Education, “We are reimbursed.”
Commissioners Jerry Whisner told Taylor that a discussion on this subject will continue.
In other business with the sheriff’s department, the commissioners approved the uniform policy, which basically was developed for the necessity of officers wearing a uniform while on duty, and when they are off duty, the uniform should not be worn.
A new resource officer for Frankfort High School was named and Vince Shambaugh, former Morgan County sheriff, will start this position on July 1.
Shambaugh will replace Kam Jefferies who recently retired as the resource officer at Frankfort High School.