Nine weeks in the life of a city police officer: My Buckhannon writer Beth Broschart is enrolled in the Citizens Police Academy

BUCKHANNON – While growing up, I was always taught that police officers are here to protect us and never that they were to be feared – so I am especially happy to report I am a member of the Buckhannon Citizen Police Academy.

Classes for this began last Wednesday, March 13, at the Buckhannon Police Department and will continue for eight more weeks.

Why did I want to participate in this course? Simply because I believe the old adage that, “you don’t know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.”

I wanted to learn about what motivates people to enter this profession, what kind of training they complete, what some of the rules and procedures are that they must follow. Also, what does the typical day of a policeman look like? How do they prepare themselves to go out there and keep residents like you and me safe?

What I found during the first night of the training is most of the people attending the Citizens Academy want to complete the course so they can become members of VIPS – the Volunteers in Police Service.

This fine group is a partnership between the Buckhannon City Police Department, the Upshur County Office of Emergency Management, the Upshur County Citizen Corps Council and the Upshur County Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT.

VIPS members are volunteers from the community who assist the police department during larger scale events. They are trained in first aid, CPR, basic search-and-rescue, basic firefighting, traffic and crowd management and basic disaster response.

They assist the police with public relations matters, searches and rescues, disaster response, investigations and traffic management and crowd assistance during community events.

Buckhannon Police Officers Angel McCauley and Donald “Sam” Kraemer filled us in on what it takes to become a city police officer for Buckhannon; they discussed what it’s like to travel to Charleston and spend 16 weeks in the State Police Academy.

From left, Officer Angel McCauley, Sgt. Tom Posey and Officer Donald ‘Sam’ Kraemer at the first week of the Citizens Police Academy March 13.

That training, which seemed to be more like Army Boot Camp, is followed up by 12 weeks of field training where they ride along with a seasoned police officer to learn the ropes.

Not surprisingly, we learned that a great majority of police work today includes pages and pages of paperwork – and that calls to the Buckhannon Police Department have doubled in number since 2018.

Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said he started his career more than 22 years ago and said he enjoys not only the Citizens Police Academy, but also the Youth Police Academy.

“I am a real big believer in community policing,” he said. “One of my passions is the Citizens Police Academy as well as the Youth Academy. We do those every other year for youth in the middle and high school students. We started this in 2013.”

Gregory said the VIPS program grew out of the Citizens Police Academy.
“I believe VIPS are a godsend,” he said. “They help us out tremendously with events throughout the year, whether it is 5K races, events during the Strawberry Festival, administrative tasks around the office or in ride-alongs with the officers. VIPS have been instrumental during these tasks and they are a major component of the Police Department.”

Here are some services the BPD offers: they operate a lost-and-found, they offer copies of offense and accident reports and for $5 and they offer fingerprinting services from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you are going to be out of town, you can contact the Buckhannon Police Department and they will have a patrol car pass by to check on your home while you are away.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Citizens Police Academy is welcome to call the Buckhannon Police Department at 304-472-5723 or visit online at

Stop back each week as I share interesting tidbits and things I learn about these wonderful folks who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe.



Police Crime

Florida woman arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot people in Buckhannon Pizza Hut

BUCKHANNON – A Florida woman was arrested for allegedly threatening people at the Buckhannon Pizza Hut. Deanna D. Gandee, 49, of Naples, Florida was arrested for making threats of terroristic acts, a felony. According to the criminal complaint in the […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story for our LOWEST PRICE EVER. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur receives update on polio eradication progress

BUCKHANNON – The Rotary Club has contributed more than $2.1 billion to help eradicate polio. Marty Kelley gave an update to the Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur Nov. 15 about Rotary and its efforts to eliminate polio. “I thought I knew […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story for our LOWEST PRICE EVER. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!


Three Lady Bucs earn Big 10 All-Conference postseason volleyball honors

TENNERTON – Three Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs were honored on the recently announced Big 10 All-Conference Volleyball team. Senior Kendal Currence earned First Team honors while sophomore Alyssa Abel and senior Tori Perkins were named to the Second Team. The Lady […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story for our LOWEST PRICE EVER. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

Upshur County Sports Calendar

MONDAY (Nov. 28) TUESDAY (Nov. 29) Basketball WEDNESDAY (Nov. 30) Basketball Swimming THURSDAY (Dec. 1) Basketball FRIDAY (Dec. 2) Basketball SATURDAY (Dec. 3) Basketball Swimming Wrestling SUNDAY (Dec. 4)

WVWC Volleyball

Volleyball Lady ‘Cats get shutout of MEC postseason honors

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Mountain East Conference announced its 2022 volleyball all-conference teams and major award winners. Wheeling setter Karly Niesen was voted the Mountain East Conference Player of the Year in 2022, while West Liberty