WHEELING - Democrat George J. Fahey filed to run for Ohio County sheriff in 2012, and his goal is increasing communication between the sheriff's department and the public.
"I think the public has the right to know what is going on in their neighborhood at the time it is happening - not several weeks later," he said. "People can help the sheriff's department by alerting us to any illegal or suspicious activity."
Fahey doesn't think deputies get to know the public as well as they could.
"It doesn't cost anything to stop and talk to the neighbors," he said. "A lot of times, people see a cruiser flying past them, and they don't get to have conversations with the deputy. We have to be more user friendly."
Fahey, 66, is a lifelong resident of Wheeling, and a graduate of Wheeling Central Catholic High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served a 14-month tour in Vietnam and received several awards and medals.
Upon his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, he joined the Wheeling Police Department. During his nine years as a law enforcement officer, he received several commendations - including the Ohio Valley Jaycees' award for "Outstanding Young Law Enforcement Officer."
While serving on the police department, Fahey graduated from West Virginia Northern Community College, where he earned an associate's degree in criminal justice. He continued his education at Wheeling Jesuit University, as well as the University of Virginia Citizens Judge Academy. After serving on the force, he resigned his position so that he could become a candidate for the Ohio County magistrate.
In 1980, George became a magistrate for Ohio County, where he was subsequently appointed the position of first chief magistrate. During his career, he also had additional duties as juvenile referee, a position he held for 10 years. He retired as a magistrate, in 2003, after 23 years of dedicated service. Upon his retirement, he was appointed to a position with the U.S. Attorney's Office as a law enforcement coordination specialist for the Northern District of West Virginia, which encompasses 32 West Virginia counties.
As a law enforcement coordinator, he served as a primary representative of the U.S. attorney to other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies on a variety of issues, including coordination and training. He also served on standing state and local law enforcement boards and committees. Some of his duties included developing and implementing specific activities within the district that promoted the effective utilization of federal, state and local resources.