RIPLEY, WV- The Ripley Police Department has long been shadowed by troubles within the department. Accusations leading to the arrest, trials and convections of former officers have given the department a black eye in the community.
However, during the scrutiny of the City's law enforcement, Chief Raymond L. Fridley and the rest of his officers steadfastly performed the duties covered in the oath that each swore to up hold.
Seeing the need for additional safety measures for the protection of the community, Chief Fridley is employing a new approach in the hiring process. Previously applicants for law enforcement positions were weeded out through a PT test. If the applicant passed the PT test a rigorous interviewing process followed as well as a background check.
Nevertheless background checks are not always full proof. If an applicant committed crimes that were not reported, the applicant will appear to have a clean record.
To prevent unknowingly hiring individuals of questionable character in the future, Fridley has added one more item to his interviewing arsenal.
Said Fridley, "We are using a program that is similar to a lie detector test. It's an extra precaution that we are taking to prevent this from happening again. Anyone applying for an officer position will have to submit to the test. I think this will help us a lot during the hiring process."
When the tragic news was announced that students had been victims of another cruel and senseless shooting spree, Ripley officers took action.
Said Fridley, "My officers went to the schools and made sure that there were no problems and I went to the schools too. We made several check ins during the day. It made the students feel safer knowing that we were there. We continue to check the Ripley Elementary and middle schools and during certain days of the week they have an officer at the middle school, these are our children and their safety is important to us."
Other areas that Fridley is working on in his department are officer training.
"I think we are doing good on our DUI arrests and the grant money that we got from the West Virginia Highway Safety Fund Committee", said Fridley, "The Ripley Police Department received $20,000 (Twenty thousand dollars) to do DUI patrols, to seek out seat belt violators, speeding complaints and red light violations. The $20,000 covers all of this and that's exactly what I had asked the safety commission for and they have been very good at working with the Ripley Police Department. We had a call from the lady that we work with and she said we were doing good with our DUI arrests."
With this grant the chief stated that there were requirements.
Explained Fridley, "With DUIs the men will come out and work four hours at a time and must make three contacts in an hour. So that means they should have 12 contacts. Verbal warnings don't count. It has to be something in writing where we can send and prove that we are out stopping vehicles. Lastly, patrolmen must complete in service credits. Part of the credits entails taking weapon qualifications twice a year.
Page 2 of 2 - Ended Fridley, "I'm really proud of the job my men are doing."