Philippi police, City Hall may be on the move

City departments in downtown Philippi may potentially swap locations, officials said this week.

Philippi City Council met Tuesday for a work session to discuss the idea of moving the town’s police department to the Hu Myers Center on South Main Street.

Council also discussed moving City Hall to the Hu Myers Center, and moving the police department to the current City Hall location instead.

No decisions were made at the meeting, and councilmen plan to take an informational tour of the center soon.

The rear of the Hu Myers Center had been home to the Barbour County 911 Center, city officials said. It is now the location Mayor Jerry Mouser has in mind for the police department.

Mouser said the police department, currently located behind City Hall on Church Street, is too crowded for the department’s needs. Mouser said the Hu Myers Center offers a conference room and a better floor plan to suit law enforcement needs. It also has space to park up to 12 vehicles behind the building.

“I think it’s a good thing to move,” Mouser said. “I see everything as a plus.”

Councilman Terrence Boyd said the proposed site would suit the needs of the police department both now and in the future, allowing for growth and the potential of hiring additional officers.

Councilman Jeff Allen said it “looks like a good time to make a complete move,” meaning City Hall could move to the Hu Myers Center and the police department could move into the current City Hall building, allowing the department to remain centralized to the town.

Mouser said he is not opposed to the idea, but thinks it might be too costly and take too much additional time to move both departments at once. He said if the police department were to move to the Hu Myers Center, it could always eventually swap places with City Hall if that were a change City Council decided to make later.

Allen said he thought the current City Hall was a good location for the police officers because the gymnasium affixed to the building would allow officers to have easy access to a place where they could work out.

The current building housing the police department is owned by the Philippi Building Commission. If City Council votes to move the police department, council and the Building Commission will have to decide what to do with the building before such a move can be made, officials said.