Bath police chief hits the ground running

by Trish Rudder

A seasoned law enforcement member, Berkeley Springs Police Chief William Carper is wearing many hats and covering a lot of ground in his new role as the head of the town’s police department.

Chief Carper began his new journey in Berkeley Springs on March 2 after being sworn in by Town of Bath Mayor Scott Merki the day before.

He said last week he began his 27 years in law enforcement at age 21 and is a graduate of the West Virginia Police Academy in Charleston. He has mainly worked in Jefferson County in Shepherdstown and Charles Town.

Carper lives in Jefferson County and began serving his community after high school as a volunteer firefighter.

Carper worked with his father in a grocery store, but even though his father wanted him to have the same career, Carper said he wanted a career in law enforcement.

Berkeley Springs Police Chief William Carper says the police department needs to rebuild to have a constant presence. photo by Trish Rudder

After leaving Jefferson County’s law enforcement department, Carper had worked with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and recently learned that the town’s police chief’s position was available. He applied and interviewed for the job and was hired.

He is leading a small staff with two part time police officers, Richard Cook and Tony Link; part time administrative assistant, Danielle Swope and J.C. Cooper, who monitors the parking meters for parking violations.

He carried his cell phone and radio last Wednesday, since he was the only person in the department.

“We have to rebuild,” Carper said.

He said along with his full-time position, he needs another full-time police officer to replace the officer who resigned.

He wants to hire a full-time administrative person and have another part-time position for parking violation monitoring, if the budget will allow it.

“We have to have a constant presence,” Carper said.

He said the town will continue to receive assistance from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police during the evening and overnight hours.