PARKERSBURG - Not only is there a new sheriff in town, the Wood County Sheriff's Department will welcome in the new chief and chief tax deputies today.
Chief Deputy Shawn Graham said he and the Sheriff Ken Merritt plan on meeting with Wood County deputies in the first week of taking office.
"We have ideas on what's working and what's not," said Graham. "I have my own ideas."
Graham said he would like to make a bigger commitment to the drug problem in the Mid-Ohio Valley. He said it is "much worse than people realize."
He said he would like to give more assistance to the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force. The task force is comprised of investigators from the Parkersburg Police Department, the Wood County Sheriff's Office, the Vienna Police Department and the West Virginia State Police.
"I'd like to make a bigger commitment and a more active role in the drug problems," he said. "Often drug problems lead to so many other problems, like thefts, domestics and break-ins."
Graham said he hopes to add more personnel to the team as well as working with those currently on the force combating the valley's drug problem.
Newly elected Wood County officials took the oath of office during an 11 a.m. Friday ceremony in the lobby of the Wood County Courthouse. The sheriff's office will have a new, or rather old, Facebook page. The name with the reports and other information regarding the office will be under "Wood Sheriff," www.facebook.com/wood.sheriff.3.
"It's a very good unit," Graham said of the task force. "It's just undermanned and we can make a point to help them through the sheriff's office."