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Morgan County Sheriff adds upgrades to department

January 25, 2011|By TRISH RUDDER | trishr@herald-mail.com
  • Shambaugh
Shambaugh

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Using money obtained from drug raids in Morgan County, Sheriff Vince Shambaugh recently upgraded the department by adding new equipment, a younger police dog and a new chaplain program.

A new Honda Rancher all-terrain vehicle and 4-by-8 trailer were purchased for $6,000 in November from Ridersville Cycle in Berkeley Springs, Shambaugh said in a news release.

"The new vehicle will increase our mobility and effectiveness in rough terrain where a normal vehicle cannot go," he said.

So far, the ATV was used for CSX railroad patrol to deter property crimes and at the former Coolfont Resort property to investigate and provide surveillance for a string of copper wiring and pipe thefts.

Shambaugh said the new ATV joins an older ATV that was donated a few years ago by a Morgan County resident.

Forfeited drug money also purchased three new Taser stun guns for $3,000.

"These Tasers expand the deputies' less-than-lethal tools and increase deputy safety," Shambaugh said in the release.

A new addition to the K-9 unit named Rex joined the department recently. The Belgian malamute male will replace the "aging and well-loved Cirka," a female dog that is more than 9 years old, he said.

The new dog was purchased for $5,200, and his new kennel cost about $2,275. Funding from the Morgan County Commission, the sheriff's drug-money forfeiture program and donations from private citizens and civil organizations "helped put Rex in the field," the news release said.

The sheriff's department also added a chaplain service. Shambaugh recently appointed Deputy Reserve volunteer David Bucher to serve as the department's chaplain.

Bucher, 53, who has been a pastor for five years, is certified through the American Police Chaplain Association, Bucher said Tuesday.

Bucher said he resides in Morgan County, is a military veteran and is the pastor at Mahnes Chapel United Methodist Church in Berkeley Springs, and at Catalpa United Methodist Church in Hancock, Md., Bucher said.

A police chaplain's services include assistance to law enforcement officers involved in traumatic events, Shambaugh said. The chaplain "will also serve our citizens in events like car wrecks, fires, natural disasters, victim assistance and death notifications," Shambaugh said in the release.

His equipment and materials are funded by drug forfeiture money, the news release said.

"This is another valuable Morgan County first," Shambaugh said in the release.

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