At USDA Rural Development West Virginia, we are advocates for, investors in, and partners to rural communities and the people, businesses, local governments, and organizations within those communities. We’re here to help rural communities overcome obstacles and work with them to make sure they have the tools they need to create a brighter future. Look no further than in Barbour County, West Virginia to find a perfect example of this commitment.
Over the past three years, USDA has invested $21,500 through its Community Facilities Grant Program to the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department. While this may not seem like a large investment, Barbour County Chief Deputy Jeff Roy says it’s had a tremendous impact on their department.
“If you combine a small amount here and small amount there, that pays for one deputy,” said Chief Deputy Roy. “Because the USDA has assisted us with an amount here and an amount there, it’s enabled us to be able to hire another deputy which benefits the whole county and its citizens.”
The most recent of these investments came in November 2023 when USDA announced a $7,900 Community Facilities Grant for the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department to help purchase body cameras. The body cameras will help record vital evidence and, as recent national events have shown, are imperative for the protection of not only the citizens of Barbour County, but also the officers.
Last year, USDA awarded a $13,600 Community Facilities Grant to help the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department purchase a new cruiser, which was crucial for the department. Having a dependable and modern law enforcement vehicle is essential to providing quality service to the citizens.
“We can’t serve the community if we don’t have the equipment to do so. If you’re responding to a call in a cruiser that has over 100,000 miles on it, it’s scary because you don’t know if it’s going to break down when you’re responding to a domestic call with firearms."
“If it wasn’t for the USDA stepping up and helping us purchase this equipment we wouldn’t have it,” said Deputy Chief Roy.
For some of our rural communities, even small investments can have a large and lasting impact. To learn more about USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Grant Program, please visit: tinyurl.com/WVCommunityPrograms.