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Reopen state police detachments

Late last year, it was announced West Virginia State Police detachments in Hundred, Elizabeth and Grantsville would be closed. The problem was money, State Police officials said.

Well, that should not be a problem beginning July 1, when the new fiscal year begins. It appears West Virginia legislators intend to boost the State Police budget.

State Police were budgeted for $96.7 million in general revenue fund spending this year. The state Senate’s budget proposal for State Police during the coming year is $104.4. The House of Delegates wants $103.9 million for the purpose.

Negotiations over the budget remain in progress, of course. And once the House and Senate agree on a plan and send it to Gov. Jim Justice, he is empowered to use a line-item veto to alter the budget.

It seems unlikely Justice would do that, however. The prospect is that the State Police will get as much as $7.7 million more to work with next year.

That clearly is enough to reopen the units in Hundred, Elizabeth and Grantsville.

With small-town officials in many parts of our state pleading for more help with law enforcement, reopening the three closed units would be the responsible thing to do.

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