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Upshur County Sheriff Virgil Miller addresses commissioners at their Aug. 12 meeting.

Part-time deputy transfers to full-time status, as commission approves use of sign-on incentive program

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission approved a request to make a part-time sheriff’s deputy full time and amend the Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Sign-on Incentive Program.

Upshur County Sheriff Virgil Miller attended the Aug. 12 Upshur County Commission meeting to request transferring William T. Chidester from his current position as a part-time deputy sheriff to a full-time deputy sheriff, effective August 16, 2021. Miller also proposed a change to the Sheriff’s Deputy Sign-On Incentive Program. That program was initially approved Feb. 11, 2021.

“We’re asking to move William Chidester from the part-time position which he has occupied for about six months as a deputy sheriff to a full-time deputy sheriff of Upshur County at a rate of pay of $21.63 per hour with an effective date of August 16, 2021,” Miller said. “A few years ago, Mr. Chidester worked for the county, and he went to the Department of Natural Resources Police and that’s where he has been the entire time.”

“He is a certified [law enforcement] officer in the state of West Virginia, he is current on his certifications, and he just finished training at the DNR so he’s up to speed on those requirements for his training,” Miller added.

Miller said the sign-on bonus will be dictated by how much time Chidester wants to dedicate to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office. The sign-on bonus will be $1,000 each year with a cap of $8,000. If Chidester commits two years to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, his sign-on bonus is $2,000, but if he commits eight years, the bonus is $8,000, etc. Miller said the sign-on bonus, which only applies to certified police officers, has saved the county about $16,000 because they don’t have to send new recruits to the West Virginia State Police Academy and purchase new equipment.

“We haven’t looked at the figures since January or February, but we’re in the neighborhood of probably $16,000 or $17,000 — not to mention the time we’ve saved from sending somebody to the academy,” Miller said. “The only thing we had buy for him was two pairs of pants; he had everything else.”

Upshur County Commissioner Terry Cutright made the motion to approve the transfer and the amendment and Upshur County Commission President Kristie Tenney seconded the motion, which passed. Commissioner Sam Nolte was absent from Thursday’s meeting.

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • The commission approved an advertisement for a Community Corrections Case Manager/Counselor.
  • The commission approved correspondence from Brian Elmore requesting appointment to the Upshur County Enhanced Emergency Telephone Advisory Board as the fire service representative. Upon approval, his term will be effective immediately and expire June 30, 2024.
  • The commission approved of Lewis–Upshur Animal Control Facility Volunteer Mariah Goldsmith.

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