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Moundsville Police Chief Named; Wheeling Lieutenant Taking Reins of Department

July 19, 2011
By JIM COCHRAN Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MOUNDSVILLE - A Marshall County native will take the helm of the Moundsville Police Department next month.

Thomas Mitchell will assume his new duties as Moundsville police chief on Aug. 1. Mitchell, who has 27 years of law enforcement experience, was sworn in this morning.

Mitchell currently holds the rank of lieutenant with the Wheeling Police Department.

Article Photos

New Moundsville Police Chief Thomas Mitchell is sworn in this morning by city Treasurer Karen Ankrom. Mitchell, who has been in law enforcement for 27 years, will assume his duties Aug. 1.

Photo by Jim Cochran

The new chief will succeed James Kudlak, who retired in April. Kudlak, a 33-year member of the Moundsville department, served as chief for nine years.

Darren Whipkey has served as acting senior officer in charge since Kudlak's departure. In addition, Kudlak made himself available to any of the officers in case they needed advice or help.

City Manager Allen Hendershot, in announcing the appointment, said Mitchell brings a wealth of experience and training with him to the position.

Hendershot, also a former Moundsville police officer and chief, said he asked Mayor Dennis Wallace to serve with him on the interview committee; Wallace, in turn, selected Vice Mayor Eugene Saunders and former mayor and Councilman David Wood to serve on the committee.

Hendershot said that nine applications were received for the position. Three candidates, Mitchell and two current Moundsville officers, were interviewed.

Mitchell has served as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE officer, a Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT team leader, a training coordinator, a hazardous materials tech and as a shift commander.

The new chief has an associate degree in criminal justice from West Virginia Northern Community College and attained West Virginia State Police Basic Officer Certification. He received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from West Liberty State College has taken the All Hazards Incident Command course. Mitchell attended the FBI National Academy and received certifications in both firearms and Tazer training.

Mitchell, who resides in Wheeling, is a native of Glen Dale and began his law enforcement career as a Glen Dale patrolman - a position he held for three years. He was also a Marshall County deputy sheriff for one year.

Mitchell will take the reins two months after the department moved its headquarters into offices on the first floor of the Knights of Pythias Building on Tomlinson Avenue. The police department previously had been housed in the City Building on Sixth Street for many years.

The move was made because officers and dispatchers needed more room.

The city purchased the Knights of Pythias Building for $2,000 with plans for the police department to operate out of the right side of the first floor. The city's total cost for the move was estimated at less than $20,000.

Funding for required handicapped accessible ramps and restrooms was secured through grants, and Moundsville City Council authorized the transfer of money from an existing fund for needed work. That money is to be paid back, and much of the renovation work was done by volunteers.

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