McMechen Police Chief Don DeWitt Recognized for Law Enforcement Career
photo by: Alan Olson
A career worth of detective skills couldn’t keep McMechen’s police chief Don DeWitt from being caught flat-footed Wednesday afternoon by friends and family coming together to surprise him at work.
DeWitt was recognized with a legislative citation presented by Del. Charlie Reynolds, R-Marshall, after he was made aware of DeWitt’s career in law enforcement from a number of letters submitted by his peers. He was joined by Benwood and Moundsville police chiefs Frank Longwell and Tom Mitchell, as well as his family, friends, and co-workers at McMechen’s city building for an impromptu ceremony and lunch.
DeWitt has served as McMechen’s chief of police since early 2018, and had been a detective with the Moundsville Police Department for 20 years prior.
“What I’m proud of is always having been an honest, straightforward and calm officer,” DeWitt said. “Others seem to get upset, yelling, screaming. I take a step back and try to befriend (people).
DeWitt said that over his career, he’s seen how the residents of Marshall County will continually band together in times of crisis.
photo by: Alan Olson
“What I like about Marshall County is how they seem to come together in emergencies, no matter what their differences are. They’ll come together for a lost kid, or flooding here in McMechen. They always come together in a crisis, so you know where their heart lies.”
Having spent 20 years as a detective with Moundsville, DeWitt said the police work is very different in McMechen. With just two full-time police officers including himself, his new beat involves far more patrolling and administrative duties than investigation and detective work.
“He puts in a lot of hours here for the police department,” Reynolds said. “They’re shorthanded, he’s working hard, and plus all the work he’s done as a detective – he’s put his time in, and he deserves to be recognized.”
Looking ahead, DeWitt said he has no plans to quit policing, but down the line he would like to spend more time with his family. In the nearer future, he hopes to alleviate scheduling difficulties – and free himself and his other officer from 12-hour shifts – by bringing in a few more full-time officers.