The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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August 16, 2012

Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department promotes 9 deputies

BECKLEY — The Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department promoted nine deputies Wednesday, recognizing each officer’s value to the department’s ability to serve the citizens of the county, Sheriff Steve Tanner explained.

Dustin Joynes, Larry Lilly and Jim Miller were all promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant; Trish Miles, Benny Halstead and Jim Canaday were promoted to Sergeant from Corporal; and Bobby Stump, Jon Grose and Jamie Williams were promoted to Corporal from Deputy.

Tanner said the promotions were made possible by three Lieutenant vacancies, therefore causing a “trickle down effect” allowing the subsequent promotions.

Although some law enforcement agencies promote based on longevity, Tanner said, the men and women recognized Wednesday had earned their promotions in a number of ways.

“There is a strict civil service code for the ability to score and rank for the eligibility list for promotions. What happens is, we take each persons’ written test scores from the civil service, add in criteria for longevity and evaluations, and those three aspects together give us a cumulative score,” Tanner explained.

“The problem we have with the Sheriff’s Office is where we are a large sheriff’s office for southern West Virginia, we are still a rather small office in law enforcement standings, so promotions are very rare occurrences here because once you have met your promotional pyramid — which consists of three captains, five lieutenants and seven sergeants —  you are looking for retirements before you can promote again, which can take a long time.”

Additionally, Tanner said monetary consideration factor in to the ability to promote.

“We have been very fortunate because I was able to adjust the current budget. I was able to take some of the concealed weapons money, because the fact is, we can not be stagnant and let the agency and deputies down by not having promotions so we were fortunate that we were able to find a way around the obstacles to promote these deserving individuals.”

Tanner congratulated each officer and encouraged them to take their new titles seriously and to lead by a positive example.

“We see the worst of mankind and the most tragic of mankind everyday and you can become very cynical.  It is very easy for professional police officers to turn their emotions on and off but what is so important is that you keep your compassion and a sense of humor,” Tanner noted.

“The new deputies, the ones just starting out their careers, will look to these individuals every single day and when new deputies see something very tragic and horrific, I need these newly promoted people to step in, take them under their wing, and guide them through this emotional roller coaster. I have nothing but complete confidence that the officers recognized today are up for the challenge and I have no doubt that they will make this department proud.”

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