POMEROY — Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood expressed that he was surprised to receive a letter from the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (OPBA), regarding the physical condition of the sheriff’s office.
Wood recently received a letter from Mark Volcheck an attorney from OPBA regarding the issue.
Volcheck stated in the letter, “the sheriff’s office continues to be a troublesome matter to members of the OPBA.”
Wood commented he can understand why employees of the union would be requesting an attorney based on the condition of the building as he feels the building is unsafe. He said with a building having as much age as this structure does, the maintenance has not been kept up to be structurally sound.
“More specifically, members are concerned for their health,” said Volcheck in the letter.
Wood shared that he hears this same concern from his employees and he cannot stand back and say they can all continue working in these conditions. He expressed that he is responsible for keeping his employees and the prisoners he houses safe.
“It is requested that an environmental site assessment be conducted by an independent contractor for both the building and land of the Sheriff’s Office,” stated Volcheck in the letter.
Wood explained that he feels this assessment is necessary, so he and employees can know exactly what they work in every day. He expressed that he has hope Volcheck will take this as an opportunity to educate the community about the condition of this building and the necessity of a new building.
Wood shared that a new building is not a want factor, but rather a very important need factor. He said he has plans for making this an affordable project. Wood expressed the need in putting money towards something in the future, rather than trying to fix the old. He said that he has not given up on the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility levy and bond issue and he needs the people of the county to understand what is at stake.
Wood presented this letter to the Meigs County Commissioners who are letting Prosecuting Attorney James Stanley review the letter before they take further action.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.