Welcome to the citizen’s online resource of the Parkersburg, WV Police Department.

NOTE: We are not officially affiliated with the Parkersburg Police Department, these resources are curated by the citizens of Parkersburg for easy access and convenience.  If you have any questions regarding this website you can forward them to webmaster(at)parkersburg-wv.com.

You can contact the official police department using the information below:

Area code: 304

Emergency: 911

Non-Emergency: 485-8501

Detective Bureau: 424-8440

FAX: 424-8404

Switchboard: 424-8444

History of the Parkersburg Police Department

The History of the Parkersburg, WV Police Department.

The Shield The Parkersburg Police Department was officially organized on August 26, 1873. At that time, the department consisted of a chief and ten patrolmen.

On September 24, 1895, the department purchased its first “police” vehicle, a light horse-drawn patrol wagon. It was not until 1913 that the department purchased a “police” car, a Kissel Kar Patrol Wagon. It was later used as a 1913 Kissel Kar city ambulance when a fleet of patrol cars was purchased.

A city hall was not constructed until 1895. Before that the department was housed in a number of different buildings including the top floor of the Wood County Bank. Parkersburg Municipal Building today The Parkersburg Police Department now occupies the entire third floor of the current municipal building, built in 1979. The department also has several satellite offices for special units.

The department now employs over 100 people for positions including police officer, juvenile specialist, dispatchers, secretaries, crossing guards and a forensic photographer.


The duties of the personnel are divided into many different units. The Patrol Bureau is the largest and the backbone of the department. It’s officers handle routine patrol and calls for service 24 hours a day. It is divided into three shifts.

The Detective Bureau is the next major unit. It is staffed with detectives, a juvenile specialist, secretarial staff and supervisors. The investigators are responsible for all investigations, as well as violent crime scene processing and a multitude of serious crimes for which they have received specialized training including arson, fraud, sexual assault and child abuse. In 1997, a detective was trained as a polygraph operator to be utilized for investigations and in our hiring process.

In 1982 the department began the home fleet program. Under this program each officer is assigned his own cruiser which he or she uses at work and also takes home and drives off-duty. Officers have specific guidelines they must follow, and they are considered on duty while in the police cruiser. If necessary, officers are required to respond to calls when off duty, thus the patrol force may be increased at any given time. The program has been such a success, that today all the surrounding jurisdictions have gone to similar programs.

As the city of Parkersburg moves forward in this new century, its needs and problems are changing; so, too, is the police department’s response. The department is currently adopting the philosophy of Community Oriented Policing, which brings the department and citizens closer together by uniting to solve community problems.

Several new units have emerged from the Community Oriented Policing philosophy: Community Oriented Police Enforcement (C.O.P.E.), police bicycle patrol, and the department’s speaker bureau. Other programs are the video identification program, bike rodeo, and safety talk program.

Now in this new millennium, the citizens of Parkersburg can look forward to a better trained, better staffed, better prepared department that will seize every opportunity to afford the people a safer place to live–“To Protect and to Serve”.


1888-91 H.L. Dils
1891-93 James Mehen
1893-97 D.W. Heaton
1897-98 J.H. Anderson
1898-99 D.W. Heaton
1899-1901 Joe Cook
1901-03 E. Landsittle
1903-05 Walter Barr
1905-09 Patrick Oliver
1909-11 Jan Helmick
1911-25 W.A. Smith
1925-26 J.E. O’Neil
1926-27 Charles Hamer
1927-28 Harlan Abels
1928-37 Clyde Watson
Aug-Nov 1937 James Deem
1937-47 Clarence Hylbert
1947-53 Joseph Beckett
1953-56 O.C. Boles
1956-59 Bruce Parsons
Jan-Apr 1959 Harry Rasel
1959-61 Hobert Martin
1961-62 W.W. Lazell
1962-65 Wm. R. Callaghan
1965-68 W.W. Lazell
Feb-Apr 1968 Jesse Starcher
1968-70 Gale Smith
1970-74 Dale Eaton
1974-76 Charles Plum
1976-78 H.F. Dougherty
1978-81 W.R. Rhodes
1981-84 James Midkiff
Aug-Oct 1984 J. Holcomb
1984-85 John S. Norton
1985-89 Larry Gibson
1990-93 Russell Miller
1994-98 Rick Modesitt
1998-2001 Thomas A. Dent
2001- Robert D. Newell

Other Resources

Emergency Locksmiths in West Virginia