WVSP Chief of Staff prepares to preside over Trooper’s funeral

West Virginia State Police are dealing with the upcoming funeral of Sgt. Cory Maynard who was killed Friday in the line of duty.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 10:34 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - American and West Virginia flags flying at half-staff are some of the few outward displays of mourning for the death of Trooper Sgt. Cory Maynard found at West Virginia State Police Headquarters in South Charleston.

“That happened on Friday, we continue to work on Saturday, Sunday, Monday. The work never stops, we continue to push forward in spite of whatever we face, whatever we go through, we still have to work, we don’t have the luxury of staying home,” said the agency’s Chief of Staff Maj. James Mitchell.

“We don’t have the luxury of not making decisions. We deal with life-and-death things every day, so we have to move forward. It just isn’t an option not to do that, that’s why I say this: This is full of a special breed of people that do this job and do it effectively.”

Mitchell, who also directs the agency’s Chaplain program, said Monday has been leaning onto his faith as he prepares services for Trooper Maynard’s funeral, scheduled for Wednesday.

“Often, like a spiritual bank account, that every time you deal with something that’s evil, or toxic, you make a withdrawal from the spiritual part of you. And it’s important that we make deposits,” he said. “To me, my faith is a lot of those deposits.”

Mitchell said he knew Maynard when he was in training to become a state trooper.

“Sergeant Maynard was a very kind person, he was very committed to the state police, to the mission of the state police, to his job as a trooper, extremely committed to that he treated everyone the same,” Mitchell said. “It didn’t matter what your social status was, what your position in the community was made no difference to him. He treated everyone the same. He was very kind to people. He did love children. That was obvious a lot of evidence of that he loved kids loved reading to kids. He was just just a good all-around guy.”

As the agency prepares for the tough week ahead, Mitchell said the community’s faith in them is what is keeping the agency going.

“The community support for for law enforcement during this time, has been absolutely outstanding. There’s no other way I could describe it,” he said.

“People have been very kind to us, they’ve been very helpful to us. It’s just, it doesn’t go unnoticed. And we have so many good people out there that still do respect law enforcement, and there’s still the respect the state police, and specifically and, and we just really appreciate that. The mission we have is so important. Who’s going to stand up for people in the community? If law enforcement doesn’t? It’s important that we do that. How I believe that, like I said, it’s a calling inside of each of us. We understand that this is so important that we’re going to do this every day and it’s the desire in us and we just push forward.”