Raleigh County drivers could see new patrols as part of town's a - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Raleigh County drivers could see new patrols as part of town's annexation attempt

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MABSCOTT/MACARTHUR, W.Va. (WVVA) Drivers between Beckley and Sophia could see new patrols as part of a plan under consideration by the Raleigh County Commission. 

The Town of Mabscott has submitted an application to the commission to annex the stretch of Route 16 between Beckley and Sophia.  

While Mabscott leaders called the move a minor boundary adjustment in their application, driver Jerome Robinson believes it could have a major impact on drivers. 

"I think it should be fair on the drivers, not financially motivated. If someone is pulled over for a genuine reason, I understand. But for a money motivation, I think that's unfair." 

According to Mabscott Police Chief Lee Cook, annexing the road would allow his officers to bring much needed patrols to Route 16 and new revenue to a struggling economy through federal highway taxes and grants. 

"It's hard to keep police officers here because we don't have health insurance or retirement. Thirty officers have moved on in my time because they want the health insurance and retirement. We don't have the money to support it like other towns do," said Chief Cook, citing several Mabscott businesses that have closed up shop in recent years. 

Chief Cook said the town is looking for the matching federal highway grants, not money from ticket collections. In fact, he said the town of Mabscott only wrote 68 tickets in 2017. He said the money will go toward Mabscott road repairs, as well as health insurance and retirement for his four officers that cover a town with a population of 1,800. 

According to Raleigh County Commission Pres. Dave Tolliver, the commission will make a decision after a public hearing on February 6th.  

"We'll make a decision one way or another to accept or reject. If we reject it, it will be up to Mabscott to take it to circuit court or let a judge decide. But the Raleigh County Commission will make a decision one way or another." 

The public hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. inside the Raleigh County Commission building in Uptown Beckley. 

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