MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — Starting August 26, the safety in the city of McMechen will now rest on one man’s shoulders.

Chief of Police Don DeWitt says his only lieutenant turned in his resignation, leaving just the chief on call.

7NEWS first brought to you the officer shortage seen in McMechen. And as you heard from the Marshall County Sheriff, it’s a shortage stretching throughout the county.

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Since 7NEWS first talked to Chief Don DeWitt earlier in August, he and his lieutenant have been overworked. And now his lieutenant is leaving for Jacksonville, Florida. It is no fault of his own. Chief DeWitt says the number of hours makes it too tough to keep anyone.

“Oh, there’s no doubt he was overworked. I’m overworked. Next week I scheduled myself for 80 hours in one week just because there’s a staff shortage. And, no one else is going to cover it other than us.” 

Chief Don DeWitt, McMechen Police

But there is a light at the end of this tunnel!

The Chief says because of WTRF’s previous coverage, he received several applicants, and city officials have been searching to find him, already-certified officers. 

In a recent development, an officer from Moundsville will be joining Chief DeWitt on September 5. 

However, Chief DeWitt says the “grossly understaffed” department needs five officers for 24/7 coverage.

Chief DeWitt says since the Sheriff’s letter to the 911 Center, the Mayor was forwarded one 911 call by the Marshall County 911 Center, per the Sheriff’s instructions.