Berkeley gaining 2 deputies

October 02, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County Sheriff Ron Jones got the green light to hire two more deputies after the County Commission Thursday voted to approve matching funds for a federal grant.

Jones told the commission several weeks ago that the county already had been approved for the U.S. Justice Department Community Oriented Policing Services grant. The grant for $143,304 would cover the salaries, benefits, training and equipping of two deputies for three years.

At the time, however, the commissioners wanted more information about the impact on the budget once the federal grant runs out and the county has to assume all the costs for the two positions. Thursday they approved spending $47,768 over the three years.


Jones said Thursday after the meeting that some of the costs of hiring the deputies would be one-time expenditures. Handguns, radios, uniforms and training costs were examples he cited.

"I think it's a deal that's very hard not to take advantage of," Jones said. The two new deputies would raise the number to 31.

Jones said he would have to start the hiring process with the existing civil service commission list. Once two candidates are selected, they would have to pass several qualifying tests before being accepted for a 14-week basic police class at the West Virginia State Police Academy.

Jones aid he believed the next academy class begins in December, but wasn't sure if he would have two candidates selected by then.

In addition to getting two more deputies, Jones could soon be adding four more police cruisers to the fleet. The commission opened two bids Thursday from Kent Parsons Ford of Martinsburg and Lamar Sloan Ford of Winchester, Va.

The county asked for lease/purchase bids. The Kent Parsons bid was $20,831 for each Crown Victoria. The Lamar Sloan bids were $22,690 for 1997 Crown Victorias and $20,987 for 1998 models.

According to County Administrator Deborah Sheetenhelm, the Winchester dealer explained that the 1997 models are better equipped and would have to be shipped from California.

The Sloan bid also contained a lease option of $8,040 a year on the 1997s and $7,437 on the 1998s. The county would be able to purchase the vehicles for $1 at the end of the three-year lease.

The county will study the bids before making a decision.

The Herald-Mail Articles