2017-05-03 / News

Panhandle deputies sworn in for multiple jurisdictions


Lt. Seth Place of Morgan County takes part in a mass swearing in ceremony on April 26. Lt. Seth Place of Morgan County takes part in a mass swearing in ceremony on April 26. Eastern Panhandle Sheriffs K.C. Bohrer (Morgan), Pete Dougherty (Jefferson) and Curtis Keller (Berkeley) oversaw the mass swearing in of Sheriff’s deputies for three counties on April 26 as an effort to “maximize their collaborative resources,” said Sheriff Bohrer.

The event was a swearing in of all Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan County officers in all three counties.

The concept began many years ago and was allowed to lapse, Bohrer said.

“This provides maximum public safety to the citizens of the Eastern Panhandle when all sheriff's officers have complete jurisdiction in the panhandle,” he said. “Should an immediate emergency take place -- an officer be shot or need backup, a pursuit of a wanted criminal across jurisdictional lines, etc., currently there is mutual aide. Mutual aide allows for certain powers and jurisdictional enhancements but it has limitations. It also must be invoked and approved. Therefore it takes time. In our field, time is often a major factor in public safety.”

Bohrer noted that all three counties have deputies who live in other counties and travel to and from work each day.

“They might be the closest unit to a serious situation or call. They now can respond without any concerns over authority or from complications if they take action,” he said.

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