Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $81,000)
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVAD) regulates various programs and commodities affecting human, animal, plant, and environmental health in the state of West Virginia. New legislation has passed criminalizing certain violations of code affecting these programs, however, the WVDA does not have law enforcement on staff. This purpose of this project would be to support the hiring of one new employee to work as a liaison officer between law enforcement in WV and the WVDA's regulatory team. Additionally, personal safety, de-escalation, and self-defense classes will be developed and administered to the WVDA field officers who wish to participate as part of this program. The project area would cover the entire state of WV. The expected outcome of this project is to provide safety to our regulatory officers by coordinating with local law enforcement to assist with contentious compliance and enforcement actions in the state.