The Beckley Police Department has long been a strong advocate for highway safety. Since 1991 the department has designated an officer to work in conjunction with the WV Governor's Highway Safety Office to serve as the regional highway safety coordinator for southern West Virginia. Beckley Police Captain Paul Blume has served in this position since 2006; one of eight coordinators in the Mountain State directed by the WV Governor's Highway Safety Office to organize the highway safety efforts of law enforcement state wide. His vast responsibilities include coordinating the enforcement activities of up to 36 law enforcement agencies in seven southern counties by dispersing supplemental funding for alcohol enforcement on our roadways and a large variety of patrols and checkpoints throughout southern West Virginia. Other areas of responsibility include coordinating local, state, and national highway safety enforcement campaigns, law enforcement training, child passenger safety, driving safety, student education and awareness, and highway safety media relations.
Captain Blume is a native of Summers County and graduated from Hinton High School. In addition to majoring in Business Management at Concord College, he obtained his Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice, Associate Degree in Law Enforcement, and a minor in Psychology from Bluefield State College. He is a graduate of the WV State Police 89th Basic Academy and the Federal Bureau of Prisons Academy in Glynco, Ga. Having previously served as a Raleigh County Deputy Sheriff and Federal Correctional Officer, he was sworn in with the Beckley Police Department in 1995. Prior to his appointment to the highway safety coordinator position in 2006 by the WV Director of Highway Safety, he served his department as a uniformed patrol officer, community policing officer, and a detective in the department's investigative division. He is an active member and former vice-president of the Fraternal Order of Police- Black Diamond Lodge #81.
During his law enforcement career, Captain Blume has received his department's Distinguished Service Award, the Crime Stoppers Award, and the MADD Award of Excellence. In addition, he has previously been awarded the WV Southern Regional Highway Safety Officer of the Year, the Highway Safety Occupant Protection Officer of the Year, and the American Legion Policeman of the Year.
Previous members of the Beckley Police Department who have served as the coordinator of the WV Southern Regional Highway Safety Program include: Lt. Bill Kelly, Lt. Bob Tipton, Capt. J.D. Meadows, Cpl. Jeff McPeake, and Lt. George Hunter.