Study: WV ranked among most “unfriendly states for police”

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — A recent study from Wallet Hub said West Virginia is one of the worst states to be an officer of the law. The study is based on opportunity and competition, training requirements and job hazards and protections.

Princeton Police Lieutenant Jeremy Halsey, said while policing is a calling, there’s got to be more than that.

“You go out here and you put your life on the line everyday, you don’t know what you’re going to experience. So you want to make sure when you do this job, that you want to do, that you have a calling to do but you want to be able to take care of your family as well,” said Lt. Halsey.

Lieutenant Halsey said because West Virginia is full of rural areas, those agencies are sometimes left out.

“The funding is not there to try to entice officers to work in that general area,” said Lt. Halsey.

Chief Deputy Joe Parks with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, said he disagrees with the ranking.

“As far as opportunity and competition for the job it’s as fair as can be. It falls under civil service, you take a basic written test, and a physical exam followed by some backgrounds and a polygraph then you go to the academy for 16 weeks. It’s pretty standard for any other state,” said Parks.

Both Parks and Halsey said Mercer County and the City of Princeton take great care of their law enforcement officers. Both said if given the opportunity, they’d stay right where they are.

“I can make a difference, I can do something and make this a better place for my kids and my grandkids. That’s why you join law enforcement,” said Parks.

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