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Sheriff Forum

Panhandle News Network hosts political forum with Berkeley County sheriff candidates

Do you want a "Part time" Republican, that is only a republican when it suits him? Or a "Real Republican"?

I questioned "appointed sheriff" Blair about supporting democrat Keller in the last race and answer questions from the panel:

MARTINSBURG — The Panhandle News Network-WEPM Radio hosted the first out of four forums for political candidates Monday evening, which featured Berkeley County sheriff candidates Robert Blair and Davy Jones.
The discussion was led by Marsha Chwalik, news director with the Panhandle News Network, and Toni Milbourne, managing editor at The Journal.
Blair, who was appointed as sheriff in January to fulfill former Sheriff Nathan Harmon’s term, and Jones began the forum by introducing themselves and then took turns answering several questions about how they plan to deal with different important issues as the sheriff.
They were asked how they plan on fighting drug trafficking in Berkeley County. Blair explained that through his experience as sheriff, he has learned that the best way to combat this is through a task force mentality.
Jones hopes to reinstate the Accelerated Criminal Enforcement (ACE) team, which was disbanded before Blair took office. Jones also mentioned a special website he designed, where people can leave anonymous tips. He believes that through the community’s help, officers will be able to keep others safe.
They were also asked about how they plan on dealing with the traffic on Interstate 81. Though the highway crosses through Berkeley County for 26 miles, it’s a common place for vehicle accidents.
As one of the busiest interstates in West Virginia, Blair understands how important it is to have officers watching the traffic. Though the sheriff’s department doesn’t have the manpower right now, Blair shared having two to four officers always monitoring the highway. However, for now, they are doing the best they can to prevent accidents and keep people safe.
Jones suggested using the reserves to make officers visible along I-81. Visibility is one of the most important aspects to getting people to slow down, because if they know a cop is sitting there, they will be more cautious.
Chwalik mentioned that some people would call officers waiting on the highway harassment and asked if there was a way to find a balance. Jones said that it shouldn’t be harassment but a deterrent. Officers are also able to give people warnings if necessary.
“One thing I don’t think the department is, is revenue collectors for the county,” Jones said. “We shouldn’t be collecting revenue. Our job is to serve and protect, not to make people’s lives harder.”
Blair also reminded people that officers do receive training on how to find the right balance. The department doesn’t benefit financially from the tickets, and it is up to the officers whether they give a ticket or not.
At the end of the discussion, Jones asked Blair about supporting Democrat candidate Curtis Keller in the last election.
“The former sheriff worked for me 18 years ago, and I’ve taken the high road on this, since he brings it up, because there is a reason why I voted for and supported Curtis Keller,” Blair said. “Curtis Keller is an honest man, and I’ll leave it at that.”
Visit Panhandle News Network on Spotify to hear the whole candidate forum and learn more about the Berkeley County sheriff candidates.

From The Journal Website

The Panhandle News Network Article: Do you want a sheriff picked by the govt or by you, the people?!


WRNR Interview

Eastern Panhandle Talk: Davy Jones - Candidate for Berkeley County Sheriff (3/18/24)

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