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Five State Police Members Honored


Five West Virginia State Police members were honored on Friday in South Charleston. Those honored included four civilian employees and one uniformed member.

Senior Trooper R.A. Marsh was honored for his work in breaking up a car theft ring which resulted in the seizure of seven vehicles. The perpetrators later set fire to the seven cars seized along with a State Police cruiser. Marsh stated, "It was really a just a shock to the department and the detachment." Colonel Smithers noted that Marsh also received threats to his family and himself during the investigation. As part of his recognition, Senior Trooper Marsh will receive a new state police cruiser as his duty vehicle which has special lettering noting his award.

Also honored during the ceremony was civilian employee Bill Gallagher. Bill is the Director of Information Technology for the State Police. Bill has led numerous initiatives that have brought the department to the cutting edge of technology. He has also be integral in putting technological crime fighting tools in the hands of State Police Troopers as well as other law enforcement agencies across the state. Mr. Gallagher's work ethic and initiative have shown direct cost savings to the department. Colonel Smithers also noted how Bill could be making more money doing the same job elsewhere, and Gallagher responded, "It's not always about the money. It's about the family and the job. I feel like here I really contribute to something."

The next member honored was civilian employee Nancy Strope. Nancy works as a secretary at the Wellsburg detachment and has been in her position for thirty-seven years. Colonel Smithers highlighted her years of service as well as her tireless efforts in the community. Nancy also spends numerous hours volunteering in organizations in her community. Nancy says, "I'm active, I like what I do and to serve." Nancy started at her position straight out of high school, and says she would do it all over again, "I'd do anything again to serve. The troops are wonderful."

Colonel Smithers also honored Michelle Watson. Michelle is the secretary at the State Police Academy. During her time at the academy she has worked under three different academy directors and has been integral in ensuring a smooth transition in each instance. Watson's knowledge of the day-to-day office workings, and her ability in the handling of purchasing, and managing expenses have allowed her to offset some of the administrative load of her superiors.

Finally, Colonel Smithers also honored civilian employee Jason Howe. Jason is the head mechanic at the Kearneysville Detachment. Jason is in charge of maintaining over a hundred vehicles in his area of the state. Jason's ability to salvage parts and keep cruisers on the road has saved the department thousands of dollars. Jason has never taken a sick day, never been late, and even postponed a surgery on his broken leg to accommodate better timing for the department. After surgery, Jason was right back at work, maintaining cruisers from a wheelchair.

Congratulations to those honored with the Superintendent’s award. We thank you for your devotion and service.


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