Local WVSP Detachment Commander retires

West Virginia State Police Sergeant Glenn Galloway with former President Bill Clinton at the Lewisburg Airport in 2003. During his 25-year police career, Galloway met several famous people, including former President George H.W. Bush. Photo courtesy Glenn Galloway.
West Virginia State Police Sergeant Glenn Galloway with former President Bill Clinton at the Lewisburg Airport in 2003. During his 25-year police career, Galloway met several dignitaries, including former President George H.W. Bush. Photo courtesy Glenn Galloway.

After 25 years of service with the West Virginia State Police, a well-known local officer retires this week. Sergeant Glenn Galloway hangs up his trooper’s hat on April 17. Eighteen years of Galloway’s distinguished career have been spent with the Marlinton Detachment.

Galloway was born in Huntington and grew up across the Ohio River in Proctorville, Ohio. He graduated from Fairland High School in 1984.

“I was captain of the wrestling team my junior and senior years,” he said. “The only other high school activity I was involved in was track and that was to keep me in shape for wrestling.”

Galloway was named the school’s Most Valuable Athlete his senior year.

Following graduation, Galloway went to work in a Huntington grocery store, where his wrestling skills would come in handy.

“I became the front manager,” he said. “It was kind of in a high crime area of Huntington. There was always an off-duty police officer in there working security for thefts and any other problems we had. There would be fights and stuff there. They were usually by themselves and when they needed help, they would ask me to back them up. That’s how I got to be familiar with police officers.”

Galloway considered applying to the Huntington city police department, but while scanning the classifieds one day, he saw an ad for “walk-on” day at the State Police Academy in Institute.

“There were hundreds of guys there and only two of us made it through walk-on to get into the Academy,” he said. “There were 38 guys in my class and only two walk-ons actually made it into that class.”

The future trooper started Academy training on April 1, 1990.

“It’s more or less military style training,” he said. “The Governor [Gaston Caperton] came and swore us all in and everything’s all nice. You think it’s going to be a really easy setting. But as soon as the Governor leaves, we heard the instructors saying, ‘is he gone, is he in his car yet?’ Then those same instructors who were being real nice come back and it turned into boot camp. You’re running and doing monkey drills and everything else.”

Eight months later, Galloway walked out of the Academy as a State Police Trooper.

“At that time, the philosophy was, if you’re from Huntington, you’re going to the other side of the state,” he said. “They basically sent everybody to the opposite side of the state from where they were from.”

Galloway’s first assignment was in Romney in Hampshire County. At the State Police Academy, instructors had taught cadets that no one is above the law. In his first week on the job, Galloway made his instructors proud.

“One of the first tickets I wrote, I stopped this guy and he told me he was the prosecuting attorney,” said Galloway. “He had an expired sticker on his car. I was like, ‘oh, okay, you’re a prosecuting attorney,’ and I wrote him a ticket for his inspection sticker. He was still telling me that he was the prosecuting attorney and worked up at the courthouse. I told him, ‘then I don’t need to explain where you can pay your ticket.’”

After a year in Romney, Galloway got an opportunity to transfer to Marlinton.

“There was a trooper named Tim McDaniels and he actually got shot in the arm over at Diane Apartments on an incident and it disabled him,” said Galloway. “I replaced him and I was in Marlinton from October 1991 until 1999.”

McDaniels, who still lives in Marlinton, received a Purple Heart Award and a disability retirement. He currently serves on the board of the West Virginia Troopers Association.

After Galloway transferred from Romney, he decided to make Pocahontas County his home. In 1999, he was promoted to Detachment Commander and transferred to Mingo County, but kept his home in Marlinton. After a six-month assignment in Williamson, he transferred to Gauley Bridge.

“I was at Gauley Bridge for a little over a year, then I was with Interstate Patrol in Lewisburg,” he said. “Then I was at the Lewisburg Detachment for about five years. Then I came back here in March of 2005 and I’ve done my last 10 years here in Marlinton.”

As Marlinton Detachment Commander, Galloway is responsible (until Friday) for State Police operations in a huge area, encompassing all of Pocahontas County and the surrounding area. Reflecting back on his 25 years of service, Galloway said seeing the positive results of his work was the best part of his job.

“I got satisfaction when I was able to help somebody out,” he said. “Years later, somebody will come to me and say, ‘hey, I was broke down here or in a wreck and you gave me a ride home.’ If you come into a town and the bars are out of control and you start doing your job, eventually those bars clean up or shut down, and people will start thanking you and tell you you cleaned up their town.”

The Sergeant expressed special pride in a successful investigation which resulted in a 17-and-a-half year prison sentence for a child abuser.

Unfortunately, police officers routinely deal with the lowest of human behavior and the ugliest events.

“Some of the stuff you deal with and some of the stuff you see kind of sticks with you,” said Galloway. “People dying in crashes and whatever. You have to go deliver messages to their family. But it’s never boring. You never know what you’re going to do when you come to work.”

Troop 3 Commander David Reider said he’s losing a good man.

“Anytime we lose a seasoned Sergeant with Glenn’s time and stature, it’s going to hurt tremendously,” he said. “We hate to see him go. I wish him well in his retirement. He’s got a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience he’s taking with him and you can’t replace that. It’s a loss for us but again, I’m happy for him and hoping that someday in the future he’ll come back around and see us.”

What’s Sergeant Galloway doing after his retirement? He’s still figuring that out.

“I’ll do something but I don’t have a plan. My daughter’s getting ready to graduate high school and her college plans aren’t completely made up. I joke with her that I’m going to college and we’re going to be roomies. But I’m waiting to see what’s going on there. It’s kind of up in the air.”

Galloway has a son, Ian, 22, of Huntington, and a daughter, Brice, 18, of Marlinton.

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