Pubdate: Tue, 01 Jan 2013
Source: Parkersburg News, The (WV)
Copyright: 2013, The Parkersburg News
Author: Mandi Cardosi, Parkersburg News And Sentinel


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

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

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,"

"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
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