SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Charleston is developing a smartphone application that will allow citizens to get up-to-the minute information about accidents, street closings, special events and other goings-on in the city.
The application will be free to residents and will be posted on the city's website and Facebook page for downloading as soon as it is finished, Mayor Frank Mullens said during a brief city council meeting Thursday evening.
Mullens told council he met with all of the city's department heads and they understand that "for the application to be a success we have to keep it updated. I think it's a great tool for our citizens."
Scott Shaffer, president of Planet Mobile Media, Charleston, is developing the application. "I think it will cost a little over $2,000 to build the app and about $80 a month thereafter for him to host it," Mullens said after the meeting.
During the meeting Chad Napier, commander of the Metro Drug Unit, gave a brief report on the unit's activities. He said the unit went from being on probation in 2009 to winning regional awards in recent years. He said the unit shuns publicity, preferring instead to work cases as far as it can take them.
"I will tell you that within the last couple of weeks we started a case in South Charleston you're going to hear about," he said. "I just can't go around publicizing the things we're doing but I want you to know we're working."
The Metro Drug Unit receives most of its money from the federal government but also receives some funds from other governments, including the county. He said the unit doesn't ask South Charleston for money but does use some of its police officers, which the unit sends all over the country for extensive training.
Napier said the unit also works to get confiscated drug money back into the hands of law enforcement agencies like the South Charleston Police Department. He said South Charleston will be getting a check for $35,000 to $40,000 soon.
South Charleston Police Chief Brad Rinehart said he worked with Napier years ago at the Charleston Police Department. Rinehart had high praise for Napier, saying that after 17 years in police work, Napier has not lost any enthusiasm for his job.
In other action, council approved a proposal by Mayor Mullens to close D Street from 1st Avenue to 7th Avenue and 7th Avenue from Oakes Avenue to Ashby Street on May 18 for the Armed Forces Day Parade.
Also at the meeting:
* Police Chief Rinehart said May 24 is the deadline for job applications for those who want to take the police officer civil service exam on June 1.
* Public Works Director Gerald Burgy noted that the spring cleanup from Jefferson Road East will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.