LEWISBURG, W.Va. — Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill says the decision to take the job as the State Police Superintendent under Governor Elect Jim Justice was not a snap decision. Cahill, in a Monday morning appearance on MetroNews Talkline, said Justice approached him about the idea in early December and thankfully didn’t require an immediate answer.
“It was a hard decision to leave down here,” said Cahill. “It’s a great department with really good people. I went back and forth and it was about a three week process.”
But Cahill formerly worked in the State Police and rose through the ranks from a rookie trooper to being the Captain at the Beckley Detachment when he retired. Cahill says he drew upon his former co-workers to make his decision.
“I reached out to some other guys I had worked with in the past,” he explained. “They said, ‘Gosh Jan remember all those night shifts we worked when we griped about why we did this and why we do that? You’d be in a great position to make some change in there now.'”
Cahill admitted the support of former troopers and some still within the department was convincing, but he ultimately made his decision because of the relationship with Justice which was forged in Greenbrier County over the years.
“I’ve watched the stuff he’s done down here with the hotel and the county and especially during our catastrophic, deadly flooding,” Cahill said. “I look forward to the positive change he’s going to be able to make for the state and just decided I wanted to be part of that change.”
Cahill didn’t want to get into the specifics of what kinds of changes he wants to bring to the State Police. Staffing and pay are the obvious issues which every Superintendent must grapple, but Cahill made it clear he’ll be a trooper’s commander.
“My focus is going to be about those men and women out there on detachment,” he said. “I hope to talk to every Corporal and below out there in the state. I want to sit down and talk to them about where we can improve and to let them know those are the guys who make us look good.”
Cahill will take the reins from Colonel Jay Smithers who retired from the position at the end of 2016. Cahill was just reelected to his second term as Greenbrier County Sheriff in November.