Commonwealth Journal

Local News

May 28, 2014

Wesley: Manpower is issue at sheriff's office

Chief deputy claims no ulterior motive

Somerset —

The man behind the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office’s move to not respond to some calls in the county’s small municipalities has apologized, saying he regrets “not articulating” his intent. 
Chief Deputy Larry Wesley said on Wednesday that there was no ulterior motive behind his decision to drop responses to non-emergency calls in Burnside, Science Hill, Ferguson and Eubank. 
The police forces of those smaller cities require some assistance from other agencies to ensure coverage. 
“There’s no malice or evil intent or anything,” said Wesley. “That was not the motive.”
A memo written on Friday, May 24 by a dispatcher at Pulaski County 911 stated that the sheriff’s department would only provide back-up to the smaller cities’ police forces in the event of emergency calls.
“PCSO will only respond to the cities of: Burnside, Eubank, Ferguson and Science Hill if it is an emergency call,” states the note. “If you are unsure if it is an emergency -- check with PCSO.”
The memo is sent from 11-02 — the badge number attributed to Wesley — down to badge number 11-15. 
On Monday, just as chiefs from the smaller Pulaski municipalities entered into an agreement with the Somerset Police Department assuring their citizens of added protection, the sheriff’s office did an about-face and rescinded that order, saying deputies would respond as they always have.
Wesley on Tuesday called Pulaski County 911 and said they would return to responding to any and all calls because the situation “got blown out of proportion.”
Wesley on Wednesday said he never meant to cause an uproar with a decision that he says came from him, and him alone. 
“It was totally my decision and had I known that it would snowball I wouldn’t have done it,” said Wesley. “I was just trying to find hours for our guys.”

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