New year, new goals for Charleston Police

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Since the pandemic began, crime has dropped in the city of Charleston. However, law enforcement says there are still some areas that need to be improved.

According to Charleston police officers, crime that is on the rise can possibly be attributed to COVID-19.

“What we have seen an increase of over the holidays and through COVID was domestic situations. They are on the rise. I think it’s where everybody is staying home or cooped up,” said Lt. Tony Hazlett with the Charleston Police Department.

Something the city struggled with during the pandemic was having the department at full capacity. CPD had a few officers retire, and because of the pandemic, the West Virginia State Police Academy had to change the way they recruited new hires.

“We’re wanting to put more officers on the streets. So, as far as reduction in crime, more visibility in officers… hopefully that’s a plan for 2021,” Hazlett explained.

He encourages the community to stay vigilant and report anything suspicious so crime can continue to drop around Charleston.

An updated year-end report is expected to come out in the next couple of weeks. Hazlett said that report will give the department more of an idea of what is needed to improve.

“We’ll look down and compare from 2020 to 2019 and what incidents have risen. As far as thefts and homicides, we’ll plan out action from then.”

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