The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

February 18, 2012

Sheriffs still seeking access to pharmacy board drug database

CHARLESTON — Sheriffs across West Virginia say they could play a key role in the war against drug abuse if the Board of Pharmacy would only open up its database and let them in.

As lawmakers head into the final three weeks of this session, attention is accelerating on ways to combat the drug scourge.

In a Senate committee hearing this week, the Board of Pharmacy maintained the sheriffs have decided against pursuing access to its database to see who is buying drugs and the quantities involved.

Not so, says Rudi Kidder, executive director of the West Virginia Sheriffs Association.

“We absolutely have not backed off,” she said. “There had been some rumors that flew around that the sheriffs had pulled back on this. We absolutely have not.”

Rather, she said, the association is concerned that amendments suggested for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s huge anti-drug bill would have hurt some law enforcement agencies that already have access to the board’s database.

“We still believe that sheriffs should be granted access to this,” she said. “We are not going to let our bill be amended to the point we punish other brothers and sisters in law enforcement, or pit legislator against legislator.”

While sheriffs support the overall bill Tomblin advanced, Kidder said one provision tends to narrow the access of the database now.

A few weeks ago, Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner pleaded with lawmakers to open up the database, pointing out it now is restricted to task forces recognized by the federal government.

One argument against liberalizing access is that the Board of Pharmacy would be dealing with too many passcodes.

Kidder sharply disagrees.

“Most have only heard that some State Police, Drug Enforcement Agency and drug task force members are granted access to Board of Pharmacy records,” she said.

Yet, hundreds of others enjoy the same privilege — doctors and pharmacists, she said.

“There are also select people who work in the chief medical examiner’s office and the worker’s compensation committee,” she said.

“Which poses the question: If 40 passwords for sheriffs without drug task forces is too much, if 40 more doctors come to the state, will there not be enough passwords for them?”

Kidder said her group remains committed to working to have the sheriffs’ access amended into Tomblin’s bill, now in the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We’re just trying to help law enforcement,” she said. “We need the access to fight the drug epidemic.”

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • snowywalk April is the cruelest month

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Renew W.Va. car registration online

    State residents strapped for time got a break Tuesday when Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Acting Division of Motor Vehicles Director Steve Dale announced new DMV online options for renewing vehicle registration.

    April 16, 2014

  • Manchin says mines should speak out about coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 16, 2014

  • Rainelle Town Council pulls plans to annex roads

    Residents of several communities in Greenbrier County can rest assured they won’t be affected by a proposed road annexation after Rainelle Town Council decided not to move forward with the plan.

    April 16, 2014

  • City and county code enforcement offices separate

    After 10 years of partnership, the City of Beckley and the Raleigh County Code Enforcement offices have decided to part ways.
    Mayor Bill O’Brien said after several meetings with county commissioners, the groups decided to separate.

    April 16, 2014

  • eggy All mine!

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Manchin urges mines to speak out about coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 15, 2014

  • State jobless rate inches up in March

    West Virginia’s unemployment rate inched up in March to 6.1 percent.

    April 15, 2014

  • 2 brothers arrested in cockfighting investigation

    A cockfighting bust by the West Virginia State Police has led to the arrest of two Mercer County brothers.

    April 15, 2014

  • Williamson mayor to step down April 30

    Williamson Mayor Darrin McCormick is stepping down at the end of the month.

    April 15, 2014