Sheriffs from across the state visit Morgantown for educational conference

MORGANTOWN — Sheriffs from around the state are visiting Morgantown for the 2018 West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association Conference at Lakeview Golf Resort and Conference Center.

“It’s an honor,” Monongalia County Sheriff Perry Palmer said of hosting the event, which started Sunday and ends today.

West Virginia law requires the state auditor to provide training on tax issues to sheriffs in the state, Rodney Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, said.

He said the conference also offers law enforcement training in order to be more efficient and to not have to pull sheriffs’ out of their counties multiple times.

State Auditor JB McCuskey said the focus this year is on the state’s transparency website and on the fraud unit working with sheriffs to eliminate and prosecute the theft of taxpayer funds.

“The main focus is to ensure as many transactions are done electronically as possible,” he said.

There are a lot of opportunities for taxpayer money to be taken and electronic transactions allow for faster and more accurate fraud detection, McCuskey explained.

He said the partnership between his officer and sheriffs is a good one.

“We’re good at being accountants; sheriffs and prosecutors are good at arresting and prosecuting people,” McCuskey said.

Palmer said the training is helpful and it’s nice to be able to network with other sheriffs to talk about techniques used and problems each department faces.

Representatives from 48 of West Virginia’s 55 sheriff departments were in attendance, Miller said.

Sheriff Jimmy Riffle of Marion County said being able to speak with other sheriffs is a big help for a first-term sheriff.

“You get a lot of good information talking to others,” he said.

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