PARKERSBURG - The addition of the new, but repeat, sheriff in town come Jan. 1 will bring more changes to the Wood County Sheriff's Department.
Wood County Sheriff's Department Sgt. David Bussey will serve as president of the Wood County Deputy Sheriff's Association at the beginning of next year. Bussey is a 23-year veteran of the sheriff's department who previously served as treasurer and most recently vice president.
"I think (the association) is a good thing to help a lot of people," Bussey said. "It's a good organization."
Bussey, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a 1984 graduate of Parkersburg High School, will be replacing Lt. Shawn Graham as Graham takes his new position with the department, chief law enforcement deputy to Sheriff-elect Ken Merritt.
Currently assigned as a day shift road patrol supervisor, Bussey has coached youth sports with the Junior Deputy baseball teams in Worthington Little League.
Graham served as president of the organization for the last 11 years after being elected to six consecutive two-year terms by the deputies of the association. He said Bussey will do an excellent job in the position of president.
"He is a guy that speaks his mind and would stand up for the guys if needed," said Graham. "The other men would respect him and I think he's a great choice."
During his presidency with the organization, Graham has implemented the Bikes for Tykes and Secret Santa projects and established and coached youth sports through the Junior Deputies baseball and softball teams through Worthington Little League. He is a 1987 graduate of Parkersburg High School.
Graham said as he takes on his new role as chief deputy he had to give up his role as president of the association, but he welcomes the change in responsibility.
"Even if I didn't have to (resign) I would," he said. "The deputy association has to have their own voice."
Being involved closely with the administration, he said he feels it would be wrong to be in both roles. Sometimes, as president, a deputy may have to do things potentially frowned upon by higher ranking officers.
"You have to do it for the guys," he said of speaking up for the other deputies.
During Graham's terms as president he implemented a few new policies. He changed the percentage raise given to deputies, sergeants, lieutenants and captains by changing pay raises to the same amount of money regardless of rank.
"People wanted me to take (the role of president) over; I'm an outspoken guy," he said. "I feel like I'm turning it over to good hands."
The association is a great organization with a lot of dedicated men and women, said Graham.