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Ranson formalizes quicker approvals for police sharing

By Staff | Jun 30, 2017

RANSON – The City Council, with Mayor Keith “Duke” Pierson’s support, adopted a resolution Tuesday to give Police Chief William Roper the authority to determine whether and when the city’s officers can work overtime to assist special community events in neighboring Charles Town.

The same resolution also gives Roper the authority to request similar assistance of police manpower from Charles Town’s police department.

The resolution clarifies that Roper doesn’t require approval from Ranson’s mayor or council to provide such mutual public safety assistance and cooperation to Charles Town, something Ranson officials said has occurred routinely for community events in the past.

The resolution gives Roper the authority to prevent such overtime work of the city’s officers if he determines Ranson’s public safety needs would require it. It also makes it clear that Charles Town would pay for extra police assistance it requests, as Ranson would pay for any such assistance it requests from Charles Town.

Ranson officials decided to give Roper clear authority to act quickly on such mutual aid requests after Charles Town’s police chief, coping with a manpower shortage from three unfilled officer positions, requested last-minute public safety help for WV Fest in downtown Charles Town, which was held Saturday, June 17. Some Ranson police officers worked overtime at the festival to assist with traffic, parking and pedestrian safety.

The resolution expands an existing mutual aid police enforcement agreement between the cities of Ranson and Charles Town. Through an annual mutual aid agreement that all law enforcement forces in Jefferson County have joined, any police officer from any police jurisdiction in the county can respond to any public safety emergency incident or call anywhere in the county.