State Police, WV
The West Virginia State Police was born in controversy in the second extraordinary session of the West Virginia Legislature on June 19, 1919. Then Governor John Jacob Cornwell was insistent upon having a State Police force which he said, "was mandatory in order for him to uphold the laws of our State." Part of the compromise was the name of the organization. "West Virginia Department of Public Safety" was the official name; however, over the years, most citizens have accepted "State Police" as the unofficial name. The West Virginia State Police is recognized as the fourth oldest state police agency in the United States. In the reorganization of State government during the 1989 legislative session, the Department of Public Safety was reorganized and encompasses more than just the State Police. At that time, our Agency became the Division of Public Safety; however, during the 1995 legislative session, our name was officially changed to the West Virginia State Police.
Members of the West Virginia State Police receive their training at the West Virginia State Police Academy; located in Institute, West Virginia. Upon appointment, cadets undergo an intense 24-week training program and, upon graduation, serve a twelve month probationary period. Today, the members of the West Virginia State Police are continuing to provide efficient police service to the citizens of West Virginia. The forest green uniform, campaign hat and shoulder patch are symbols of our proud heritage.