ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It was a fresh start Tuesday for a police department fighting to renew its image.
The former police chief of St. Albans stepped down in November after allegations of sexual harassment.
Tuesday was the new chief's first official day on the job, and he isn't wasting any time getting the department back on track.
Implementing bike patrols is part of the push to get St. Albans officers up close and personal with the community.
“We are gonna become more proactive. We are gonna be knocking on doors. We're gonna be in the neighborhoods,” St. Albans Police Chief Michael Matthews said.
Tuesday was Matthew's first official day as chief, and he faces many challenges ahead.
“It was kind of rocky there for a little while, but things are coming around,” Sgt. Phillip Smith said.
It was a rough winter after the former chief, Brent Coates, resigned following sexual allegations by a city employee.
The investigation didn't find enough evidence to charge him, but it left a bad image that Matthews wants to change.
“Nobody likes a black eye,” Matthews said. “We consider that a black eye. If it happened or didn't happen, we tried to stay out of it. It put us in a bad light, and we don't like to be like that.”
Putting the past behind them, they're now opening the door to a future of helping you.
“We want to get back to being the ‘protect and serve,’” Matthews said. “We want to get back into that serve role. I think we've lost some of that.”
Matthews started with the St. Albans Police Department in 1989 as a patrol officer.
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