Police chief, teachers honored for response to Philippi hostage situation

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Police chief, teachers honored for response to Philippi hostage situation
By Ryan Petrovich,

Tonight in Barbour County, Philippi City Council honored individuals who played a key role in the Phillip-Barbour High School hostage situation that happened a couple months ago.

Police Chief Jeff Walters and teachers Jennifer Swift and Twila Smith were honored for their bravery and composure during that frightening day. Swift and Smith were not on hand for the presentation, but Chief Walters was and said it was an honor. He also said the teachers should also get a lot of credit for what they did on that day.

"It's appreciated," Walters said. "Nobody gets into this job for a pat on the back. When your own city government recognizes your efforts, that means a lot."

"In my job description, it says I may face someone with a gun one day, but it didn't in theirs (the teachers). They still stood up, took it head on and did a great job containing the situation until we got there."

The mayor also said that if it weren't for these people the situation could have been a lot worse and that they prevented a possible tragedy from happening.

"If it hadn't been for Chief Walters and his training and his discussion and [dialogue] with the young guy, as well as the teacher's actions we would probably have a tragedy in that school," said Charles Mouser, Mayor of Philippi.

The mayor also said that Chief Walters has also been nominated for Policeman of the Month from administration out in Washington, D.C.