Last night in the small town of Glasgow WV, officer Steven Smith of the Glasgow Police Department was brutally shot while responding to a 911 call. This message is to the leaders in the area, and the Governor of West Virginia -
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, it has been brought to our attention that both Cedar Grove and Glasgow Police Departments in Kanawha County, West Virginia have repeatedly made requests for funding to purchase proper protective gear ….requests which have been denied, gone unanswered, or have been ignored. OcPo is demanding a straight answer as to “WHY” each request (while completely reasonable, and within the county/state means) has been arbitrarily “DISAPPROVED” and “DENIED”. On December 13, 2011 at 7:00pm, Officer Steven Smith and Officer Aaron Roop responded to a burglary in progress at 208 Glass Fire Lane when Nicky Smith (suspect – no relation to Officer Smith) used a shotgun and opened fired on the responding officers. Officer Smith (Off-Duty Responder) was unable to return fire, as there was only one firearm between them and one magazine. As a result, Officer Smith took direct hits to the torso and upper arm. Officer Smith (to our knowledge) has not been provided with a vest as per the departments request (there are not enough to go around), and as a result wound up in the hospital having bullets removed from his chest. Officer Smith sustained non life threatening injuries, and this incident was preventable had the officer been issued a kevlar vest. The only injury he would have suffered was to his arm. This is absolutely “UNACCEPTABLE” and “UNFORGIVABLE” OcPo will “NOT” stand by and witness this negligence occur. Our police officers have taken an oath to protect and serve not surrender to suicide combat missions on less than $10 an hour, and without the necessary protective gear. In addition, we were also “ALERTED” to the fact and want to seriously address “WHY” our police officers, while being paid so little, are obligated and responsible for their cost of their own ammo, magazines, vests, ETC… if “YOU” have the finances available to provide it to them.
These are OcPo’s solutions. Our law enforcement officers DESERVE a substantial increase in salary. The census shows an average police officers salary in West Virginia as of Decemeber 2011 stands at around $48,000 a year, while the local hourly pay for Glasgow and Cedar Grove officers stands between $8 and $13, we want it matched. Furthermore, Cedar Grove needs to be brought into the 21st century with sufficient computers vital to store police information. OcPo’s requests are “NOT” negotiable but they are reasonable to expedite immediately before further actions are taken.
OcPo understands the shape of our economy, and is not about placing blame without contributing to the solution, so to do our part, we have opened up a donation account where we can all contribute. This fund will be left open for 30 days, and will be deposited in it’s entirety into both Cedar Grove and Glasgow town treasuries for the sole reason of providing these 2 departments with the technology and protective gear they need. Good cops in small towns should not go unprotected into violent situations, while earning as low as $8 an hour -
Update: Officer Smith has had reconstructive surgery on his arm, and all bullet fragments have been removed from his chest, he is in stable condition, and in good spirits
*If you can donate gear directly to either department, please contact us and we can arrange it with the mayors. Gear that is needed: Kevlar Vests, Ammunition, Rifles, M-16′s
An M-16 could prove vital with the rise in Organized drug trade in the area, to put it bluntly, a 9mm is useless when returning fire against a criminal wearing a vest, such as the one last night (Dec. 13th) Thank You guys for all your help. Small Town cops are a different breed, lets keep em safe – OcPo