CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Operations at Mingo County’s two West Virginia State Police detachments will be merged into one, leaving the Williamson detachment as the only bricks-and-mortar State Police presence in the county, Col. C.R. “Jay” Smithers announced on Friday.
In addition to saving money by keeping only one detachment open, the move makes possible additional manpower hours for patrolling the county, said Smithers, superintendent of the West Virginia State Police.
“Combining the Williamson and Gilbert detachments makes sense not only from a monetary standpoint but from a public safety standpoint as well,” Smithers said. “It creates scheduling flexibility and allows for easier allocation of resources to respond to the needs of individual communities.”
House Majority Leader Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, said the change reflects an efficient redirection of taxpayer funds. “I have talked about this situation at length with area officers, and they assure me that their combined efforts are the most effective way to serve and protect residents of Gilbert, Williamson and Mingo County as a whole,” he said.
Closure of the Gilbert detachment will save an estimated $18,000 a year in maintenance costs, according to Smithers.
A news release announcing the merger did not say when it would take effect.