Letters to the Editor

November 28, 2009

Table games might not cause increase in crime

To the editor:

There has been much talk in recent weeks about the prospect of table games in Jefferson County - and more specifically at Charles Town Races & Slots. Some of this talk has offered anecdotal arguments about a potential increase in crime throughout Jefferson County because of table games and Charles Town Races & Slots.

While this is not an endorsement of table games one way or another, I do want to shed some light and bring closure to some of these points. When the prospect of table games was raised in recent months, I had a unique opportunity to contact the law enforcement officials in the three other West Virginia counties that passed table games at their racetracks. Each of these departments assured me there was no correlation or increase in crime as a result of table games being passed in their respective jurisdictions.


While they can speak for their counties, I can speak for Jefferson County. Since Penn National Gaming acquired what then was Charles Town Races, we have seen a decline in crime in Jefferson County. Much of this can likely be attributed to increased funding for public safety and law enforcement and jobs created in the county by Charles Town Races & Slots over the past 12 years, not to mention the professional and cooperative security staff that Charles Town Races & Slots employs.

The anecdotal theories that crime will increase can be frustrating at times, especially for someone in law enforcement, when the statistics and actual experience clearly point in a different direction.

Bobby Shirley
Jefferson County sheriff

Thanks to all who assisted after accident

To the editor:

I recently had the misfortune of being involved in a motorcycle/auto accident.

I want to commend the medical personnel from the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co. and the staff of the Washington County Hospital emergency room.

Everyone was very professional and very caring, their assistance was very timely and all demonstrated a strong commitment to their profession.

My heartfelt thanks to all who were involved.

Walter Bell

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