Sheriff car

A Sheriff's vehicle sits outside the Ritchie County Courthouse. 

HARRISVILLE, W.Va. – Sgt. C. D. Cox is looking to expand the K-9 program in the Ritchie County Sheriff’s Office and he needs the help of local citizens to achieve that goal.

The sheriff’s office was recently nominated for the Aftermath K-9 grant; but to receive it, people need to vote.

Follow Aftermath on Instagram (@AftermathK9 Grant) and Facebook (@AftermathCares).  

One can also log onto the website at https://www.aftermath.com/k9-grant and search “K-9 Grants”.  Once access has been gained on this site, you will be able to log in once every 24 hours to vote for the Ritchie County department.

Voting started Oct. 19 and continues through Oct. 26.

Grants total $25,000 and will be awarded to 10 law enforcement agencies, and based on merits of submitted applications.

In the department, the mission is to protect and serve the communities through the manner that is consistent with the highest standards of performances within the law enforcement profession.

A K9’s use will be to combat drug crimes and additional incidents that are by-products of that trade, through prevention and detection.

“By expanding our K-9 program, we can tackle the cause of the illness, instead of treating the symptoms,” Cox said. “At this time, the current access to this vital animal is minimal. If we can acquire another K-9, we can increase our means of combating drug crime and improve the solvability of crimes that derive from it.”

Cox stated that Ritchie County has a large retirement community, where specific emergencies can manifest.  Sometimes, persons become missing and K-9s can increase favorable outcomes in those searches.

The canine can also be utilized with the schools and be a great tool for public relations.

This animal would also be a good resource for other agencies, including the West Virginia State Police, WV Natural Resources Office, Harrisville and Pennsboro police departments, Ritchie County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and adult and juvenile probation systems within the county.

“I feel a K-9 could soon pay itself off by being utilized on traffic stops, and finding illegal drugs and money, plus more,” Cox said.

The Ritchie County Sheriff’s Office has applied for the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant, Prather Trust Grant, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Grant and Walmart Community Grant, and is actively applying for additional financial support to obtain the unmet need for the program.