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Weirton Police Department is about to undergo a transformation

CHANGES — The operational structure of the Weirton Police Department is being realigned, as part of a cost-saving plan announced Monday by Weirton’s city manager. -- File photo

WEIRTON — The Weirton Police Department is about to undergo a transformation.

During its meeting Monday, Weirton Council was preparing to vote on a resolution to purchase turnout gear for the police Special Response Team, when City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo announced he had pulled the resolution and announced plans to realign the operational structure of the police department.

“I’m restructing the police department,” he said.

Among the plans announced Monday night are the elimination of the eight-person Special Response Team, the department’s Detectives Division and the Street Crimes Unit.

“Most of it is for financial reasons,” DiBartolomeo said following the council meeting, explaining he anticipates the move to cut down on overtime costs for the department.

Also part of the plans is the removal of Weirton police officers from area schools. Prevention resource officers from the Weirton Police Department have been assigned for several years to Weir High School and Weir Middle School.

Police headquarters would be staffed with the chief, deputy chief, a juvenile crimes officer and a special projects officer, the city manager explained, making the remainder of the department available for patrol duty.

“We need people out on the roads,” DiBartolomeo said.

The city manager noted the Weirton Police Department would continue to participate in the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug Task Force.

DiBartolomeo said, at this time, he is unsure if the restructuring will be a permanent move.

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