It’s was an exciting day in Weirton Friday, not only for the police department, but for the entire city as five new police officers were sworn in. This is all part of an expansion process in the department that has been in the works for a while now.
“We’re expanding our detectives division. We’re expanding our K9 unit. We’re expanding our street crimes unit, our patrol division, so the adding of these 5 new patrolmen is going to be a huge asset to the department,” said police chief Rob Alexander.
Weirton City Manager Travis Blosser adds, “It’s a resource that we’ve already budgeted that’s been budgeted over the years, and I think we’ll be able to fully sustain it and continue to provide the services we need to residents on a daily basis.”
The new patrolmen come from many parts of the Ohio Valley as well as into western Pennsylvania. They started with 27 written test applicants, narrowed it down to eight interviews that Mayor Harold Miller and Alexander conducted before choosing the final five: Joshua Reinard, Kenneth McLaughlin II, Casey McDougal, Zachary Adamczyk, and James “Tony” Savina.
“It’s a great day for the city of Weirton,” said Miller. “As I’ve said many times, my primary goal in running for mayor is the safety and security of the citizens of Weirton, and this is just an example of what we’re trying to do.”
For some of them, becoming a police officer has been a life-long dream, while others had a change of heart in recent years.
“I was actually in school to be a dentist to start, and I switched. I did a ride along with Hancock County sheriff’s department, Lt. Chuck Stanley. It kind of turned me into the direction of a police officer,” Savina said.
All of them are excited to complete their training– the entirety of which will take about a year– and serve Weirton. Patrolman McDougal moved around a lot, but went to middle and high school in New Cumberland. He has relatives in Hancock County, including his cousin who is a 10-year veteran of the Weirton Police Department.
“It’s a great community, and I believe as the chief or the mayor said, it’s one of the most respected departments in the tristate area, and I believe their service record really reflects that,” said McDougal.
“Getting out there and protecting everybody and keeping our community safe,” Savina added. “Bringing families back to the our community and making Weirton a safe place and the Ohio Valley a safe place.”
These new patrolmen will head to the West Virginia State Police Academy in March for 16 weeks. Upon their return in midsummer, they will ride along with current officers to complete their training before they are out on their own.