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Humane officers to get new weapons

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — Three new weapons will be available for use for Hancock County sheriff’s humane officers, following approval by county commissioners Thursday.

The county will purchase three new Springfield XD 9mm handguns with night sights and three holsters and three stream-light TLR1HL weapon lights on the guns, which would cost $2,604 and will serve as a update of the weapons used by the humane officers. The county would also be able to receive a $500 trade-in value for two older weapons.

The request was made by Lt. J.T. Keeder, who told commissioners the current weapons are about 13 years old and need to be overhauled or replaced, while one officer is currently working without an issued weapon.

Keeder wrote one option was to refurbish two handguns and purchase a new HK UPSP compact while also overhauling the current side arms, which would involve replacing all springs, friction parts, magazines, night sights and barrels, but felt that this option–which would have cost $2,200 along with $500 for each sidearm–was not cost effective, and instead opted for the purchase of the three new Springfield XD 9mm guns, which he said would save the county a little over $400.

“In my opinion, it will be much more cost effective and safer for the humane officers to have three new weapons and all new equipment that it would be to purchase one new handgun and refurbish the two that you currently have,” Keeder wrote.

Sheriff Ralph Fletcher informed the commission that the humane officers are involved in training with the sheriff’s department, but that the purchase would fall on commissioners since the humane officers are technically considered to be under the commission.

“We supply the ammunition for the training, and we supply for other calibers other than the .45 we use,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher also said the humane officers had decided on the caliber of the gun based on their duties compared to the duties of the deputies, in which Fletcher said “it was done with good forethought.”

In other business:

— Commissioner Joe Barnabei discussed the $600 cost of the election recount regarding the county commissioners’ race between incumbent Jeff Davis and Tommy Ogden. Ogden, who requested the recount, has paid $320 of the charge and will be billed for the remaining $280.

— The commission approved the animal shelter report for October, which reported 190 animals were brought into the shelter and 213 were taken out. The shelter brought in 118 cats, 37 dogs and three rabbits; four cats and one dog returned from adoption; 11 cats and nine dogs returned from foster; and seven cats and one dog returned for other reasons. As for outgoing animals, 95 cats and eight dogs were adopted; 18 cats died in shelter; three cats and five dogs were euthanized; 24 cats, 11 dogs and a pony were fostered; four cats and nine dogs were reclaimed; six cats were released to the wild; and 21 dogs, eight cats and four other animals were transferred out.

— Commissioners approved the general county bills amounting to $168,775, P-card payments of $20,353 and total expenses for November of $809,878.

— The Hancock County Courthouse will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 for Christmas, and Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.

The next regular meeting will be 2:30 p.m. Dec. 27 at the commission’s meeting room at the Hancock County Courthouse.

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