Paden City PD Changes Directions
In the weeks since Joseph Richardson was hired as the Paden City Police Chief, he has made a lot of progress but feels that he still has a ways to go.
Flanked by three officers, two of those being rookies, Richardson is confident he and his guys can make a difference in the community.
The officers include Patrolman Josh Helmick, Patrolman Justin “Shrek” Wade and three-year veteran Sgt. Tim Shreve.
“There’s a bunch that needs done. When I came in, they are really lacking equipment-wise and experience-wise obviously. We have two brand new guys that do not have a month in, so they are going to need a lot of training,” said Richardson, who has been a police officer for 10 years.
Richardson was approached before the chief retired and asked if he was interested in taking the position. At the time, he was working part-time at Paden City Police Department and full-time at Sistersville Police Department.
“He has came in here and has done a lot of great things already with seizing drug money that we had trouble with in the past, he jumped right into it. (Chief Richardson) has done excellent so far. A lot of good things have been said around town and I am glad he is here,” Shreve said.
One of the department’s biggest goals, which has already been set in motion, is more interaction and bonding with the youth in the area.
“I’m really big into bonding with the kids. The kids are the future, so you make them your friends. It goes along ways,” Richardson said.
So far the kids have responded really well. Richardson went on to say that when the officers are on patrol and see children in the yard playing or fishing at the park, they are encouraged to stop and talk to the kids.
“Just to let them know that we are not the bad guys, we are here to help you,” Richardson said.
Other than working more with the youth in the area, some of his other changes includes repairing relationships with administration and vehicle upkeep.
Richardson stated that Tammy Billiter has been a huge help with the budgets and keeping him up-to-date.
He hopes to add more officers in the future as well as an School Resource officer at the schools, but that mostly depends on budgets.
One other change that has been made is the Paden City Police Department Facebook page, which is another way to connect with the community, keep citizens informed and alert. Private messages can be sent to the department and identities will stay anonymous.
“We started the Facebook page when I came on board. I did Sistersville when I was there and when I left, I turned it over to the chief. It seems like its been a pretty big hit,” Richardson said. “The public seems to respond well to it. A lot of my changes or a lot of my ideas have come from Sistersville chief because I have worked under him for a good while. Even when I worked at the sheriff’s office, I could call him and talk to him. Rob was really good to me. He did a really good job of training me.”
One of the reoccurring problems that the Paden City Police Department is working on are the drugs that have flooded the area. While he has plans and ideas, none are concrete just yet.