Bath Police Officer PFC Richard Haynes submitted his resignation to Mayor Susan Webster in a letter dated June 23.
Haynes was apparently upset about a reprimand and three day suspension without pay he received on June 18 from Mayor Webster and Corporal Craig Pearrell. Haynes was reprimanded for having an unauthorized person in a Town of Bath Police Department vehicle.
Haynes was required by the reprimand to appear before the town's Police Committee on Wednesday, June 25 to further discuss the matter. But he did not appear. Instead, Webster and Pearrell received Haynes' letter of resignation that morning.
In his letter, Haynes said Justine Michael asked if he could go on a ride along June 13. According to the letter, Haynes had Michael fill out and sign the application and release form, but was unable to contact Pearrell who was out of the office on duty with the Air National Guard.
Department policy calls for the police chief to approve and initial the release form. Since the resignation of former Police Chief James Minton on March 28, Pearrell has been the acting police chief. Mayor Webster is the Police Commissioner.
We are sorry about this, the town has invested a lot of time and money in Richard's training, Webster said.
To the Mayor and Council I say thanks for the opportunity that you gave me. It has been a pleasure serving the people of the Town of Bath for the past two years, Haynes said.
Pearrell to be deployed
Corporal Pearrell is also a Staff Sergeant in the Security Forces with the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard in Martinsburg.
Later this summer, Pearrell is being deployed overseas for a projected six to eight month tour of duty.
During the time Pearrell is away, Officer Butch, the town police dog, will be boarded back at Battle Ridge K-9 Kennel in Madison, where he will continue training.
The resignation of Haynes and Pearrell's deployment leaves the Town of Bath without a full time police officer.
Sheriff to help out
Sheriff Ron McIntire and Mayor Webster have met on several occasions to discuss police coverage for the town while Pearrell is overseas.
We are working out a system with the sheriff, Webster said.
Webster said that she and McIntire have agreed to have two sheriff's deputies cover the town until Pearrell is back.
They will drive our cars and use our ticket books. Deputy Tony Link is already working two nights a week and is doing a marvelous job. I very much appreciated the sheriff's offer to help, Webster said.
In the meantime, the town will be accepting and reviewing applications to fill the vacant police officer position.
Looking to the future
Talking about the Bath Police Department of the future, Pearrell said,
This department is going to be based on three things: protecting, serving and respecting the people of this community.
I have a plan. We are going to take care of the people of this community, Pearrell said.