McComas hired as Ritchie County deputy sheriff

HARRISVILLE — The sheriff of Ritchie County on Thursday requested the county commission hire his recommendation for a new deputy and create a new position in the office.

Sheriff Terry Snodgrass said the resume and past endeavors of his recommendation for deputy, Garret McComas, were enough to convince him he would be a good addition to his team.

“I’ve been going through the process of hiring,” Snodgrass said. “His references would make any parent envious…He is my recommendation to become a deputy in Ritchie County.”

Snodgrass said if the commission approved McComas’ hiring, his training would immediately begin.

“Once you folks give me the go, I’ll be contacting the State Police Academy to get him enrolled,” Snodgrass said.

The commission unanimously approved hiring McComas. He will start on July 1 with an annual salary of $38,000.

“You’re joining a good department,” said Commissioner Randall Riggs. “You’ll be a great fit.”

“I’ve always wanted to be in law enforcement,” McComas said.

McComas said he was a corrections officer for the last several years at the regional jail, working up to 16-hour shifts.

“I have a new baby in the family, so my new schedule will help out a lot,” he said. “I think this is a great opportunity.”

Snodgrass also asked the commission to create a new prevention resource officer in the department. Snodgrass said there is already a PRO in the combined middle and high school, and that the new position would travel among the three elementary schools in the county.

Commissioner Samuel Rogers said it would be nice to have an officer in all three elementary schools, but knew the county budget wouldn’t allow it.

“It would be hard to afford an officer at each school,” he said.

Snodgrass said the position wouldn’t start until the start of the 2021 school year so the school levy scheduled to be voted on in November could be used to pay for the officer.

Jim Brown, superintendent of Ritchie County Schools, said he was at the commission meeting to receive a commitment that if funding for the new officer is put into the new levy, the county would provide the officer. He said getting the new officer is contingent to the levy passing in the fall.

If the levy doesn’t pass, a new officer would be the least of the school system’s concerns, Brown said.

“We’d be struggling to keep the lights on,” he said.

The commission unanimously agreed to commit an officer to the school system if the levy passes muster.