Weirton officers protect, serve

Staff photo K-9 DEMONSTRATION — Members of the Weirton Police Department’s K-9 Division hold a demonstration for residents during a community event.

WEIRTON — The officers of the Weirton Police Department take pride in their history and their service to protecting the citizens of the Weirton community.

Officers work to take a proactive approach in crime prevention, through a variety of services, as well as offering educational programs and working in conjunction with others throughout the city.

The department is comprised of approximately 40 full-time officers, along with a civilian support staff and part-time school crossing guards.

Officers are assigned to either the patrol division or the detectives division.

The patrol division responds to any police related non-emergency calls and 911 calls within the city limits. The detectives division is tasked with investigating all felony and major misdemeanor crimes in Weirton.

In addition, the department operates several specialized services, including accident investigation and reconstruction, a bicycle patrol, a K-9 division, crime scene investigation, work with the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug Task Force, hostage negotiations, a special response team, officers assigned to Weir High School and Weir Middle School as part of the Prevention Resource Officer program and a street crimes unit.

¯ The Weirton Police Department formed its bicycle patrol in 2007, utilizing it in the summer and fall months at various community events, such as parades and festivals, as well as sporting activities.

Officers also perform an educational role in the city, interacting with local youth and providing bicycle safety tips.

¯ The K-9 Division was established in 1994 with four German shepherds as part of the department’s patrol division.

A canine and officer are assigned to work each crew shift of the department’s rotation, and are utilized for tasks including drug detection, suspect tracking and apprehension.

The program also serves a community outreach function, providing demonstrations at local events and in the schools.

The program is funded primarily through donations.

¯ The Drug Task Force was founded in 1992, consisting of officers from the Weirton Police Department, Brooke County Sheriff’s Department, Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The task force is tasked with investigating drug and violent crimes, with a multi-state jurisdiction.

¯ Prevention Resource Officers work to establish trust with the students of Weir High School and Weir Middle School, while also acting as a liaison between students and staff.

They teach non-traditional classes, such as focusing on lessons about laws pertaining to juveniles, arrest procedures, driving under the influence risks and more.

¯ The Special Response Team, or SRT, is a specialized tactical unit with officers trained to perform in high-risk situations. Their duties include assisting the Detective and Street Crimes units in executing arrests and search warrants.

¯ The Street Crimes Unit was established in 2007, working under the direct supervision of the police chief and assisting the detectives division in drug-related property crimes, including investigating the selling and abuse of controlled substances in the city.