West Virginia governor to send Guard to help Huntington

Published 9:38 am Sunday, December 17, 2017

City has seen 19 murders this year due to drugs

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Jim Justice says he’ll send the West Virginia National Guard to help deal with crime in Huntington.

Justice said the Guard could provide aerial surveillance and “boots on the ground” to supplement city police.

He says the violence in the city, home of Marshall University, “has got to be stopped.”

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News outlets report the Huntington City Council held a public meeting Wednesday after the 18th homicide reported Tuesday.

Huntington police Capt. Hank Dial says the department’s number of homicide investigations this year has surpassed all records.

Dial asked the council to approve money for more officers, saying the police department has 14 less than it’s capable of having.

He says two other strategies the department has are to form a group of officers to help violent crime detectives, and maintain partnerships with other local, state and federal agencies.

Dial says most of the 18 homicides are drug-related, and that arrests have been made in 13.