Martinsburg’s new police chief must hit the ground running

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — The city’s new police chief reported for duty Monday.

But when George B Swartwood reported to his office in town hall to start the week, his inbox was stacked with incident reports from a violent weekend in this eastern panhandle city.

Swartwood has set out to solve a Sunday night shooting on North Queen Street and another on South Raleigh Street Friday. A nineteen year old male is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds in the most recent incident. Police are seeking two suspects in that shooting and they have a description of a suspect in the other shooting – a black male in dark clothing wearing a tan hat.

One long-time Queen Street business owner has confidence the new chief will easily step into the shoes of his predecessor. Janet Hiett had a high opinion of Chief Swartwood’s predecessor, Maury Richards. And she has confidence in his successor. She’s never had a problem with crime in her neighborhood over her many years doing business.

Chief Swartwood is capping a 36-year career with the department.

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