Morgantown Faces Police Shortage

By  | 

Citizens of Morgantown are without on-duty police patrols for more than half of the week for the next two weeks. The police shortage is due to a number of factors, including vacation time, budget cuts, and the mayor's decision not to pay officers any overtime.

Morgantown PD has dwindled from six officers to three within the last couple of years, and one of those officers is currently on a two-week vacation. Mayor Charles Black told Morgantown's police chief that he will no longer allow officers to work overtime due to budget constraints. That means that during the vacation time, only 80 of a possible 168 hours in a week will be covered by police, and those shifts with only 1 officer on duty.

A group of local business owners voiced their public-safety concerns at a Morgantown City Council meeting last week. They say they are surprised that no further actions have been taken to resolve the shortage. Even with the currently-vacationing officer back on duty, without overtime pay, the city will be without police protection more than a quarter of each week.

Mayor Black declined to be interviewed for this story. Morgantown PD does have 1 recruit in police training academy.