Buckhannon recognizes police officer

The Inter-Mountain photo by Amanda Hayes Patrolman Tanner Collins received a Meritorious Police Duty Award, for his efforts in assisting a suicidal teenager, from Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory Thursday night.

BUCKHANNON — On a recent January day, a Buckhannon city patrolman gained the trust of a juvenile at St. Joseph’s Hospital who was suicidal and was able to get him help.

For his actions, Patrolman Tanner Collins was given the Meritorious Police Duty Award by Chief Matt Gregory at Thursday’s Buckhannon City Council meeting. The patrolman was called to the emergency room at the hospital on Jan. 9 to help with the juvenile.

“Collins spent well over an hour speaking with the juvenile and at one point, even had his blood drawn with the juvenile, so that they would feel comfortable enough to talk to him,” Gregory said.

“Through demonstrating special faithfulness, attention not duty and perseverance over an extended time, Patrolman Collins was able to talk to the juvenile form a state of wanting to kill themselves and not trusting anyone to smiling and talking about their future. The juvenile was then able to get the help that they very much needed.

“The type of compassion and concern demonstrated by Patrolman Collins during this incident is precisely the distinction of what meritorious conduct truly means. It is this type of conduct to which we all should aspire and therefore, I unequivocally commend Patrolman Collins for his actions and award him with the Buckhannon Police Department Meritorious Police Duty Award.”

Collins is a part-time patrolman with the City of Buckhannon but works full time as a natural resources police officer with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

“Tanner has been with us for going on two years in a part-time capacity and does a very good job in his duties,” Gregory said.

Laura Ward, director of Country Roads Transit, reported at both the Buckhannon City Council and Upshur County Commission meetings Thursday. Both entities provide funding towards CRT each year. Last year there were 7,341 rides in Upshur County, down about 7 percent from the previous year.

“It’s an investment not in transit itself but in citizens who partake of those rides,” she said.

“It truly is an investment in your citizens.”

In Upshur County, CRT has a route and demand response. For more information, visit www.countryroadstransit.com.

Kristy Stewart, director of the Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County, announced at city council she has an immediate need for six more tutors due to prospective students. The semi-annual book sale is scheduled for March 29-30 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Anyone interested in tutoring or volunteering in other ways can call 304-472-2343.

In other business, city council:

• Approved a memo of understanding for the Families Leading Change Grant Award.

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