PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department welcomed three new members into its ranks yesterday.
Despite many groups and departments having to cut back due to COVID-19, the Sheriff’s Department is doing the opposite. Evan Rose, Lee Beggs and Jeremy Connor were sworn in as full-time deputies during yesterday’s county commission meeting.
“The Mercer County Commission and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department applied for grant funding through the Cop’s Grant,” said Mercer County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Captain Joe Parks. “We were awarded in July, quite happily, for three new positions for the Sheriff’s Department.”
Upon approval of the grant, the department went to work finding candidates to apply for the openings, which can sometimes prove more difficult than anticipated.
“Sheriff (Tommy) Bailey initiated the call for people to come in and take applications,” Parks said. “They took a battery of tests. A physical and as far as aptitude. They were hired based on that score.”
The Sheriff’s Department is confident that it selected the best candidates available, and training is set to begin almost immediately.
“Right now they do on the job training, until they get notified by the West Virginia State Police Academy that they’ve been accepted by that agency,” Parks said. “(Then) they go 16 weeks at (an) institute in West Virginia for training.”
The assistance from the county commission opened up the budget necessary to add three members, which should be paid back, and then some, going forward.