New Williamstown police chief sworn in

WILLIAMSTOWN – Former Wood County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Shawn Graham was sworn in as the new chief of the Williamstown Police Department during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Graham said he was excited to be the city’s new police chief.

“Today (Tuesday) was my first day and a number of people dropped by to say hello to the new chief,” he said. “I’m ready to hit the ground running. Williamstown is a great, great family-oriented town and I’m anxious to be part of it.”

Graham’s appointment as the new police chief was approved by council July 21. He retired from the Wood County Sheriff’s Department after 25 years of service, holding every position except that of sheriff in his career.

Graham replaced B.D. Adkins, who was appointed chief 10 years ago after he retired from the West Virginia State Police.

One of the first things he was working on his first day concerned new cruisers for the department. Graham said he has been in contact with the state regarding a state bid on two new cruisers.

Graham said he would have details on what is available at the next council meeting.

Councilman Marty Seufer asked Graham what make and model he would prefer.

“At the sheriff’s department I’ve had experience with the Ford Taurus all-wheel drive, but I prefer the Dodge Charger for police work,” he said. “It is available in all-wheel drive now and I’ll have some numbers for you at the next meeting.”

Seufer said while the fleet has some newer vehicles, there are two that need to be replaced and it would be better for the department to have a fleet of cruisers it can rely on.

Mayor Jean Ford said the repair bills for the two older cruisers are beginning to get very expensive.

In other matters:

  • Seufer said he wanted to delay discussion of pay raises for city employees to the next meeting, stating he and Councilman Gene Duncan were trying to come up with a plan for raises that would not cost the city too much overtime.
  • Council authorized Councilwoman Barbara Lewis to investigate a tree project sponsored by Davy Tree and to apply for a $20,000 grant from the West Virginia Division of Forestry to inventory trees on city property and to keep track of their health.
  • Lewis said the sidewalk project is still waiting on the go ahead from the state to proceed. She said new regulations from the division of highways are as complex as those for roadways. The city has been waiting for the project to begin for a year, she said.
  • The park committee will meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 to discuss the new underlayment for the play area in Tomlinson Park.