Philippi Police Department one step closer to moving

A Philippi City Council vote on Tuesday to move the police department to the Hu Myers Center on South Main Street will be brought before the Philippi Building Commission for final approval on June 11.

If approved, the move-in date is expected to be July 1, Mayor Jerry Mouser said Wednesday. Mouser said he will personally rent the U-Haul to help with the police department’s relocation. He added that volunteers are needed to help move items. He also said that Barbour County Community Corrections clients may be able to help.

After the move is complete, a celebration may be in order, Mouser said.

“We want to introduce the new chief, and we want to introduce the new Philippi Police Department,” Mouser said. “We are kind of hoping for a rebirth of our police department. I’m looking for volunteers to help with that, anybody that wants to contribute anything to that.”

Mouser said a block party is in the works, but the date is yet to be announced. The party not only will celebrate the department’s relocation, but will help introduce Police Chief Jeff Walters, who was hired as the interim chief in January just after the former chief, Mitch Payne, retired. He served on the local police force for 17 years prior to that, most recently as a sergeant.

Mouser said a sign will need to be made and the phone system installed if the transfer is approved on June 11.

To volunteer to help with the moving efforts, contact Mouser or Walters at 304-457-3700.

In other business, Mouser said that Walters will be seeking the forfeitures of vehicles or other property owned by individuals convicted of drug-related offenses, such as operating methamphetamine labs.

“Some of these folks are going to be losing their vehicles and their property when they get convicted,” Mouser said.

The City of Philippi will also be exploring its options regarding a new drug ordinance. Mouser shared a drafted ordinance from Weston with the City Council. He said he will provide a copy of it to the city attorney.

If such an ordinance is approved in Philippi, approval will require two public readings before it can be enacted.