Sheriff Candidate Profiles

Ken Merritt has been a wood county commissioner for the past four years, but that was after his two terms as sheriff. While he's not highly critical of current Sheriff Steve Greiner, he believes the department could be run better financially.

"I think water bills have been way up and the electric bill is more than what the Judicial Annex is," Merritt says. "So, I think there are things I feel we, as sheriff, might be able to help with that are part of the budget."

Jay Memel, who cites his work in law enforcement inside and outside West Virginia, has more direct criticisms. A lot of those concerns have to do with manpower.

Ken Merritt has been a Wood County commissioner for the past four years, but that was after his two terms as sheriff. While he's not highly critical of current Sheriff Steve Greiner, he believes the department could be run better financially.

Ken Merritt says, “I think water bills have been way up and the electric bill is more than what the Judicial Annex is, so I think there are things I feel we, as sheriff, might be able to help with that are part of the budget.”

Jay Memel, who cites his work in law enforcement inside and outside West Virginia, has more direct criticisms. A lot of those concerns have to do with manpower.

"At night, there may be only two or three patrolmen for the entire county," says Memel. "I believe the citizens do not have the adequate protection of life and property."

There are some concerns of the Sheriff's Office that weren't concerns four years ago. One of them can be summed up in two words: homeland security.

Sheriff Greiner says deputies have to leave their duties for homeland security training. He says state-mandated daytime duties also are a drain on staffing.

"Anytime we lose one person, it causes problems," explains the sheriff. "We all would like to have more people. That's just something we have to deal with."

Greiner adds the Sheriff's Department is also making more money available for county services.

"We've done a lot lately with the tax assessor's office on collecting delinquent payments," Greiner says. "They're not forgetting, but just not paying them."

Merritt, Memel and Greiner are all republicans. As of Friday, no one has filed as a democrat, independent or write-in candidate for sheriff for the fall election.


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