WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., July 13, 2017 — West Liberty University Campus Police signed a Police Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Agreement on July 10, 2017, extending the previous trial arrangement of town and gown police protection for the next 12 months.
“This cooperation agreement benefits the town in a big way, since they don’t have 24-hour service, plus it benefits our students, many of whom reside in the town of West Liberty. It’s an extra layer of safety and security surrounding our campus,” said WLU Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Joseph Montemurro.
“This is a win-win arrangement for the town of West Liberty and the campus, and I’m grateful that it was approved by all parties,” said newly elected Mayor of West Liberty Mark Griffith, who is a lifelong resident of the town.
The town of West Liberty currently has a police office working minimal hours on a part time basis only.
Griffith and Montemurro signed the agreement after it was approved by the WLU Board of Governors this past spring and by the West Virginia Attorney General.
“As far as we know, we are the first campus in the nation to provide protection to its surrounding town. In most cases, it’s the opposite arrangement,” Montemurro said.
The town of West Liberty received its patriotic name during the time of the American Revolution, when it served as the county seat of Ohio County, then located in the state of Virginia, from 1777 to 1797. It currently has about 1,500 residents.
Montemurro has led the Campus Police, since last September. A Pittsburgh native, he previously served 11 years in the Raleigh Police Department, Raleigh, N.C. and also served in a municipal police department in Allegheny County, Pa. for 17 years before that.
The Campus Police is dedicated to providing excellence in service to the campus community and provides 24-hour-a-day patrol to the grounds, parking lots, residence halls, academic buildings and the faculty housing area. The police office is located in Shaw Hall.