The Times West Virginian


October 14, 2012

Use of renovated jail allows county to address financial and security issues

It takes one hour and eight minutes to drive to the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County — a 70-mile trip.

That’s a one-way trip. That doesn’t account for traffic, inclement weather or poor road conditions.

Those who have been placed under arrest in the county, for even minor crimes, make that 70-mile trip with sheriff transport officers. The arrested are processed, and the deputies make the long trip home.

Several hours are consumed. Gallons of gasoline are used for each and every trip. And transport vehicles suffer the wear and tear on tires, engines and brakes from the repeated trip.

In addition to the costs associated with the trips back and forth to Doddridge County, it’s an issue of man hours. The transportation of the suspects keeps officers out of the county more than they’re in it.

The Marion County Commission and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department are hoping to solve this issue and more by keeping suspects in the county longer, making use of the renovated jail in town and reassigning two more deputies to the courthouse.

It’s been more than 10 years that the regional jail system forced counties to abandon their their local jails and transport all suspects to regional facilities — in Marion County’s case, Doddridge County. Of course, it saved the money it took the individual counties to keep up and staff a jail, but transportation has always been an issue. It’s an issue, especially, when a suspect can be processed and post bond within the six hours mandated by State Code that allows them to be kept in a holding facility.

If the county is successful in making this change — a soft “launch” will test whether keeping minor offenders in the jail until they post bond is workable — the money savings can be diverted toward a major issue: Courthouse security.

An incident this summer underlined the crucial need for a better security system in place for the courthouse. A man frustrated with the system walked across the street to a discount store, purchased a fake gun and badge and exclaimed there was a “new sheriff in town” while waving the toy about. We know it was a toy, but what if it wasn’t?

The best option is to step up security, and these cost-savings measures are going to allow that to happen. Not only will there be two extra deputies staffing the courthouse, but some of the courthouse doors will also be permanently locked down to guests — with the exception of a few doors — to accommodate safety. Additional surveillance cameras at the courthouse will also be installed.

“The presence of (deputies) in the hallways along with the two additional deputies will accomplish what we’ve been trying to do to beef up the security, so everyone has a comfort level that doesn’t seem to be there now,” commissioner Randy Elliott explained.

The county has made a series of good decisions. Renovating the 16-cell jail with in-house labor and funds over time has made these changes possible. And if these adjustments to day-to-day work of the sheriff’s department work, the courthouse will certainly benefit from the increased security.

We applaud the commission for having the foresight to fix two problems with one move.


Text Only
  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads