MERCER COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — One local sheriff’s department is trying a new approach to free up deputies for more law enforcement calls. The Mercer County Commission held a special meeting and voted to approve a Service Coordinator position on Friday, September 24, 2021.

This position will work with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office to work with cases where children are involved and in cases when mental hygiene is an issue.  This is a three year pilot program in the State of West Virginia, funded by Marshall University through Community Connections.  The cost of the program is $46,000 a year, but none of that money comes out of tax payers pockets.

“This person is going to be there for the people who are left behind, families of people who have overdosed, families of people who have been incarcerated, who need help and don’t know where to find it,” said Alan Christian, Chief Deputy of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

The Mercer County Commission passed the measure and the Service Coordinator Program will start Tuesday.