BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The Raleigh County community got their first look at a $10 million, state-of-the-art Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department headquarters on Friday, March 31, 2023.

Local businesses served food and sweets, even a special Blue Line brew.
“The food we served was all finger food, and it had to be none dripping because we didn’t want to mess up the new building,” said Donald Abner, owner of the Raleigh County Airport Restaurant and a local taxi service.

Abner’s restaurant, Kenzie’s Kakes of Crab Orchard and Hilltop Coffee served guests who came through to tour the 27,000 square foot facility, Features include an open lobby and conference room with floor-to-ceiling natural light, a training gym which Pete Staton of Raleigh Sheriff’s Department helped to design, a large kitchen, a locker room with saunas, a bunk bed room to allow deputies to rest, an evidence storage area, a kennel for K-9 officers which features a shower and personal entrance, an outdoor patio, a large records department, interview room and a holding cell.

Raleigh County Sheriff Jim Canaday, whom former Raleigh Sheriff Scott Vanmeter credited in 2021 with helping to design the lay-out of the building, said the new headquarters will help with deputy recruitment and gives the public a more welcoming space.
Others agreed.

“It’s a first-class facility,” said Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Hatfield. “ I think it matches the work that the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office does.”

Thirty-year officer Charlie Darlington, who retired in 2007, was at the opening. He recalled his days as a young deputy, rubbing elbows with other rookies in the basement of the old courthouse, the first headquarters.

“Amazing,” Darlington said of the building. “Kind of wish I was still working, in a way.”
Younger people took the tour, too.

Boy Scout Keegan Killen said he will get a policeman’s patch for touring the facility.
“I felt cool,” he said.

For decades, Canaday’s predecessors had wanted a true headquarters. Canaday was a lieutenant a few years ago when he helped Vanmeter plan the new building. He is the first sheriff to head the new office, but he said his goal wasn’t the corner office.

His biggest thrill is bringing his team out of the makeshift headquarters where they currently work, three deputies to one desk.

“Certainly, they deserve it,” said Canaday. “The work that they do, the service they perform, in my opinion, they deserve the best I can give them and the best we can give them and it’s just been a privilege to be able to do that.”