Mayor Robbie Skinner, at right, administers the oath of office to new Buckhannon Police Department officer James Fisher.

New officer James Fisher joins ranks of Buckhannon Police Department

BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon Police Department on Thursday added a new face to its ranks.

At Buckhannon City Council’s meeting Thursday, Mayor Robbie Skinner announced council had recently conducted interviews during a special session and was excited to offer the position of probationary police officer to James A. Fisher of Barbour County.

“As you all know, we conducted interviews several weeks ago, and we’re pleased to offer employment to James Adam Fisher of the county next door – he’ll be coming over here from Barbour County, land of the royal blue, and we’re thrilled that he’s going to be part of Buckhannon and Upshur County,” Skinner said.

Skinner administered oath of office to Fisher, who replaces former Patrolman Joshua Wilson, who resigned earlier this year.

The oath of office includes a pledge to support the U.S. Constitution, the constitution of the State of West Virginia and the charter and ordinances of the City of Buckhannon and “faithfully discharge [one’s] duties” to the best of the person’s abilities.

Fisher said he would, “always make sure to fall back on my oath.”

“I will always fulfill my oath and do my duties with the power granted to me as police officer,” he told council members.

“Thanks for accepting, and we hope you have a great career with us,” Skinner replied.

Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said the BPD is ready to begin Fisher’s ‘on-boarding’ process and will prep him to attend the West Virginia State Police Academy, the next session of which is slated for January 2021.

“There are already 60 officers in line to be trained,” Gregory said. “They’re a bit backlogged because of COVID-19, but our hope is that we’ll get him trained in January because the next available class is in March (2021). He will shadow myself and Lt. Doug Loudin and the other officers working the day shift.”

In other police-related news, Gregory announced the BPD has filed its paperwork for its on-site assessment to gain accreditation through CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

“I’ve reported extensively on this, and it’s been a very lengthy process,” Gregory said. “We’ve gotten a lot of good support from our policy review committee and have made a lot of good steps forward just with that.”

The on-site assessment – the final step required to attain accreditation – is tentatively scheduled for April 2021. The Parkersburg Police Department is the only police department in the state that has been accredited, and only one other department – Charles Town, W.Va. – working toward accreditation.

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