Call response times an issue

ELKINS — Law enforcement officials in the area are preparing officers for a population increase expected when construction for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline begins, and looking at call response times.

Chief Glenn Galloway of the Elkins Police Department said he and other city leaders have met with pipeline officials in preparation for the increase in workers coming to town.

“A lot of them are going to be staying at Snowshoe and the pipeline crosses right through there, so if you’re at Snowshoe and you need to go out or to the grocery store, Elkins is going to be the closest place,” he said.

Galloway said there are expected to be approximately 1,600 workers coming into Randolph County.

“The line that crosses through Randolph County actually never comes within half of an hour of the city of Elkins, but we’re going to be pretty much a meeting grounds,” Galloway said.

Sgt. M.D. Anderson, of the West Virginia State Police, said call response times to outlying areas of Randolph County are of concern for law enforcement officials.

“Taking into consideration the vastness of the county and the amount of manpower we have available — especially as numbers are down for agencies in the area — response times are especially crucial,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the possibility of pipeline protesters have been brought to the attention of police officials, adding the WVSP, along with other agencies in the area, have held meetings with Dominion Resources officials to prepare for circumstances such as these.

Galloway noted if a protest were to take place with the Elkins city limits, EPD would provide a presence in case the need for law enforcement arises.