Brian Oxley has been named the new police chief of Nitro.
While the title might be new, he's no stranger to law enforcement. He has 17 years of law enforcement experience.
He said he wants the police department to be the most accessible department, and it all starts with communication.
The department has started doing text alerts, created a Facebook page, and set up a constantly monitored email account to open the lines of communication between the officers and the public.
"Whether it's just a, you know, if you have a problem with a street light, if you have a problem with a pothole in your yard, or if you think there's a drug dealer around the corner, you can get us the information and talk to us," said Oxley.
He's also launching a Crime Watch Program that will feature monthly community-driven meetings with police.
"My goal in this crime watch program is, we're going to have monthly, we're going to start setting up meeting where we're going to invite the community in," Oxley said.
Mayor Dave Casebolt said he's confident he made the right decision hiring Oxley.
"I'm looking forward to working with Brian and the police department and serving with them to serve the public," Casebolt said.
Oxley said 400 people have signed up to receive text alerts. He said the number of Facebook 'likes' continues to climb. It's all small steps that will bridge the communication gap between police and citizens.
"We want to get the word out that for criminals, when they come to Nitro, they not only have to worry about the police seeing them commit a crime, they're going to have to worry about every citizen in Nitro having the ability to report that crime to us," he said.
To sign up for text alerts, text nitrowvpd to 888777.
To email the police department with a tip, question, or concern, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach Nitro Police by phone, call 304-755-0777.