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Police department hires first female officer

January 20, 2011
By NANCY TULLIS, For The Weirton Daily Times

NEW CUMBERLAND - Some Hancock County Sheriff's Department deputies may do more than provide mutual aid to the New Cumberland Police Department in the coming weeks - they will likely work part-time while a new officer is in training.

Alesia Hayhurst will be the department's first female officer. New Cumberland City Council approved hiring her Tuesday on Chief Lester Skinner's recommendation as well as that of the city's safety committee.

Mayor Joe Sargent said Hayhurst will have to complete the police academy training before she can officially join the department.

He said Michael Hoder has taken a job with the Weirton Police Department, so until Hayhurst is on board, the city will get part-time help from the sheriff's department.

Sargent said the New Cumberland police will have the assistance of deuputies Hugh Tate, Brian Cunningham and Pat Hoder, all on a part-time basis.

Sheriff Mike White said Wednesday he has no problem with his deputies working part-time elsewhere, and that in general, the entire department offers mutual aid to the police departments in Hancock County as needed.

On a related matter, Sargent said Eric Maruca, who has been with the police department for six years, is on a 20-day suspension without pay. He said Maruca cannot return to duty until Feb. 4.

"He is on suspension, and a last-chance letter was put in his personnel file," Sargent said. "He has some issues that need fixed."

Sargent said Maruca was suspended for "multiple infractions" within the department's regulations, none of which are criminal.

(Tullis can be contacted at

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