Matthew Sisk
Matthew Sisk

Upshur County to purchase more security cameras for school buses

BUCKHANNON – For the fourth time, Upshur County has received a COPS grant to improve security in local schools.

Matthew Sisk, Upshur County Schools Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness, attended the January 27 Upshur County Commission meeting to thank the commission for their collaboration.

“This is a major project for us, and we are very, very blessed this is the fourth COPS grant the school system will receive,” Sisk said. “It’s unheard of to get that many grants one after another. There’s something that the Upshur County Board of Education must be doing right, in conjunction with you all as well.”

The Upshur County Commission recently received correspondence from Robert Chapman, Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, announcing the award of $80,639, which will be used to purchase surveillance cameras.

“Particularly, I would like to thank Tabatha Perry — she was very helpful with us — and then on top of that, Mr. Whitehair with Region VII has actually been the person doing a lot of the legwork for us on this in terms of the management while we move forward,” Sisk said. “The cameras on the buses are crucial for us. We’re seeing an increase in vaping issues on the buses because the drivers can’t monitor what [students] are doing behind them, as well as just other behavioral issues, and this is going to have a major impact on student behavior on the buses and safety in general.”

The project will install fixed indoor and outdoor video surveillance at the Transportation Department headquarters and mobile surveillance capabilities in 26 buses.

In other Upshur County Commission news:

The commissioners voted to hire Jeremiah McCourt to fill the vacant Upshur County Parks and Recreation Facilities Director position. Upshur County administrator Carrie Wallace said the commissioners received six applications, and two withdrew. Commissioners conducted three interviews on January 26. Following the commissioners’ approval, McCourt will begin employment on Feb. 13, 2022.  

The Upshur County Commission also approved an advertisement for a full-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Applications are due no later than the close of business on Feb. 11, 2022.

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