Sunday was a historic day for Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger and his department. For the first time, his men were dispatched one-per-car starting at 6 a.m. Sunday morning.
"Simply put it's quite a historical day," he says. "There are no current employees of the Wheeling Police Department that have worked anything other than two officers per cruiser during patrol operations. That did change this morning per the voters of the City of Wheeling."
During the general election on Nov. 6th, voters passed an ordinance to repeal the two man per cruiser law that had been in effect since 1972. Wheeling had been one of the only police departments left in the country to require two men per cruiser, until Sunday.
"Things are going very well," he says. "I applaud members of this agency that prepared the protocols for how we dispatch. I applaud our dispatchers, who are doing a great job today."
Chief Schwertfeger says he believes this newly implemented protocol will improve his department in more ways than one.
"I'm looking forward to continuing with increased visibility and moving toward be proactive instead of reactive," he says.