CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill will become the next Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police. Governor-elect Jim Justice announced his selection on Saturday.
Cahill replaces Jay Smithers, who retired as State Police superintendent at the end of 2016.
“Sheriff Cahill’s law enforcement experience will make him a successful superintendent of our State Police,” Justice stated in the announcement. “He will lead the WVSP to keep our people safe. I look forward to working with Jan on modernizing the WVSP to better serve the state of West Virginia.”
Cahill began his career in law enforcement as a state trooper in 1989. He rose through the ranks and served in a variety of leadership positions in the department. Cahill served as the Detachment Commander, District Commander, and Drug Task Force Commander. He eventually retired from the Department in 2012 with the rank of Captain and commander of the Beckley detachment in 2012. He was elected Greenbrier County sheriff that year and reelected to a second term in 2016. Prior to his career in law enforcement Cahill served in the United States Marine Corps from 1983 to 1986.
“I am honored to serve in the Justice Administration and such a storied organization like the West Virginia State Police,” Cahill stated in a news release announcing his selection. “After retiring from the state police five years ago, I am looking forward to coming back with fresh eyes to find new ways to protect the people of West Virginia. It was not an easy decision to leave the sheriff’s office, but I could not pass up this opportunity to help the state I love.”
Sheriff Cahill is a native of Peterstown and now lives in Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, with his wife Selina. They have two daughters, a son-in-law, and a grandson. He’s a graduate of Concord University with a degree in education and was an adjunct professor for 10 years at New River Community and Technical College.
His predecessor, Smithers, had served as State Police superintendent since being appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on March 16, 2011.