Williamstown to swear in police chief

WILLIAMSTOWN – City council will welcome a new member to the municipal roster today when the new police chief is sworn in.

Former Wood County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Shawn Graham was unanimously approved as the new police chief during a special council meeting on July 21.

Council meets 7:30 p.m. today in council chambers in the back of the city building on W. Fifth Street.

Graham said he will miss the hectic pace of the sheriff’s office, but is looking forward to new challenges in the small city.

“I hope to begin doing more drug work here,” he said. “With all of the drug problems in Parkersburg and throughout Wood County, you know they are in Williamstown and I plan to work on getting to the bottom of it here.”

Mayor Jean Ford told council of the appointment of Graham to replace Chief B.D. Adkins, who left on July 31 after 10 years.

In May, Graham became the third deputy in the history of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office to graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigations Academy. He has been with the county since he began work as a corrections officer in 1989.

Along with the new police chief, council is expected to continue the July 15 discussions of giving the city’s employees a raise.

During the last meeting, longtime Councilman Marty Seufer suggested a 5 percent raise across the board for all hourly and salary full-time Williamstown employees. At the time, Councilman Gene Duncan voiced that he did not like the discrepancy in the amount each person will receive with a percentage raise.

Duncan moved to approve the raises with a review of discussions to take place tonight.

Council is also expected to begin in depth discussions for the purchase of a new fleet of police cruisers.

During the July 15 meeting, Seufer brought up the need for new cruisers, as the current cars are not in great shape and in need of being replaced.

At the time, Seufer suggested the discussions wait until Adkins was replaced, so the city could get the opinion of the new chief as to what he would like in a new fleet.