The two-officer-per-cruiser mandate was once a hot issue on Wheeling City Council.
Tuesday, during the first reading of a measure that would put it up to the people, only one council member, Robert "Herk" Henry, objected.
He asked why they were re-opening that discussion, and Mayor Andy McKenzie answered.
"We've had several police chiefs and every one of them have brought that up as an issue," McKenzie said. "They said they could do a better job. We have citizens saying they want more police out on the street to cover the city better. And since we are the only city in the United States that handicaps the police department, we felt it better to give the police chief the ability to run his or her own department."
Long time civic leader Charles Ballouz stood up with a 1972 sample ballot that put the cruiser question in the people's hands forty years ago. He said it ought to be in the people's hands again.
"So now the chief needs to have his hands untied," said Ballouz. "And I believe if you take it before the general public, you would find out that they'd be willing to do that now."
Council member Gloria Delbrugge, once a staunch supporter of the two officer per cruiser issue, says she is now willing to take a second look.
"Truthfully in a way I'm OK with it, but in another way I'm not," said Delbrugge. "But I think now it's time for the people to vote. It's been since back in the 70s. So I think it's time."
Wheeling Police officers have historically supported the mandate for safety reasons, but declined to comment regarding their stance on the issue now.