W.Va. police chief to meet public

March 02, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Charles Town officials are holding a public meeting tonight at the Jefferson County Courthouse to give residents a chance to meet the new police chief and to discuss town issues, said Mayor J. Randolph Hilton.

The regularly scheduled town council meeting also will be held at the courthouse starting at 7 p.m. with the public meeting with Police Chief Mike Aldridge beginning at 8 p.m., Hilton said.

Residents are normally given a chance to speak at all town council meetings, but due to the length of council business, they are limited to five minutes each, Hilton said.


Residents can bring up any concerns they would like to discuss, Hilton said. Tonight's meeting was moved to the courthouse to provide more seating for residents, Hilton said.

"The focus is to introduce the chief to the community," Hilton said.

The hiring of a new police chief and better relations between the police department and the community were among the recommendations of an International Association of Police Chiefs study.

"We'll talk about the need to get closer together between the public and the police," Aldridge said. "The thing I've been saying the whole time is we need to re-establish that trust that makes the police part of the community and the community part of the police. Once we become united . . . that's too formidable for a few criminals."

Aldridge said he believes the relationship between the town residents and police officers is starting to improve.

"For the four weeks I've been chief I've received a tremendous amount of support from the people I've met on the street, the merchant community, the councilmen and the mayor, the citizens advisory committee," Aldridge said. "People are really wanting to pull together."

Among the other issues on Monday's agenda is establishing a sister city relationship and an update on the work being done on the Charles Town water and sewer systems, Hilton said.

Work being done on the manhole covers in town has made it look like pot holes appeared overnight on the streets, Hilton said.

Some of the manhole covers had been paved over, he said.

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