By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - In an ongoing effort to assure that officers of the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department receive every educational opportunity available to them, Sheriff James Smith has assigned several to classes currently being taught in an out of the state.
On Monday, Chief Field Deputy Joe Smith, Lt. Randy Hatfield, Sgt. Glen Messer, Sgt. James Muncy, Cpl. Norman Mines and Deputy Max Mounts attended a DUI class held at the Williamson Fire Department that was administered by police from the Huntington vicinity. Officers with the Williamson Police Department also attended the class.
“It’s extremely important to keep our officers up to date with the latest information available, as well as hands-on training in different scenarios they may encounter in their jobs,” Sheriff Smith said. “In the past, deputies were typically only allowed to attend classes that were free. That is certainly not the case now.
“It’s vital that we take advantage of every opportunity we are given to expand the boundaries of what our officers learn,” the sheriff said. “It’s a win-win situation for all involved; the officers become an even more valuable asset to the citizens of this county. Knowledge is definitely power.”
Deputies Josh Endicott and Roger Fitch are currently attending a Death Investigation class that Sheriff Smith feels will prove to be worth its weight in gold. If the deputies spend an extra day of class, they will leave there certified as medical examiners.
Mines and Cpl. Phillip Muncy were sent to an instructional class that is sponsored and taught by Smith & Wesson in Columbus, Ohio, that will certify the officers to work on department handguns, saving the money that, in the past, had to be spent to have one repaired that failed to work properly.
“I’d like for our department to be as self-sufficient as possible,” the sheriff said. “We have a great group of guys who are always eager to step up to the plate and receive further training and certifications. This is a trend I want to see continue in the future.”
Chief Deputy Smith told the Daily News that the sheriff’s department had another busy month in February, with 32 felony arrests and 109 misdemeanor arrests to their credit, as well as 78 citations issued. They responded to 173 calls for assistance, investigated 10 automobile accidents and also served 45 emergency protection orders.