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Grant sought for more deputies

November 21, 1997

Grant sought for more deputies

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Sheriff Ronald L. Jones Thursday received approval from the Berkeley County Commission to apply for a federal grant to hire two more deputies.

The approval follows recent approval by the commission to hire two new deputies for next year.

Jones was given the go-ahead for the application "with absolutely no commitment" to hire new deputies, Commission President James C. Smith said.

The Community Oriented Policing Services grant is the same source of funding for the two deputies the county is scheduled to hire. The COPS grant provides $143,000 over three years for salaries, benefits, training and equipment, with a $48,000 local match.

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"We ought to have some legitimate research" on how many deputies a county the size of Berkeley should have, Smith told Jones.

The county, which has 29 deputies now, is below that level, Jones said.

One concern of the commission is that the county assumes the entire cost of the deputies at the end of the three-year grant. The members had delayed giving Jones the approval to hire the two deputies on the last grant until they were satisfied they could fit it into the budget.

The county had previously hired another deputy on a COPS grant that runs out next year, Jones said.

Two years are left on another COPS grant used to hire two other deputies.

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