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Trusted servant remains with the Sheriff’s Department

Posted: Monday, Jan 7th, 2013

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Department welcomes Robert H. Beltner as Chief Deputy under new Sheriff, Terring W. Skinner.

GRAFTON – Taylor County has been notorious for its ability to accomplish the unimaginable for generations.

Do you know of any other county in the state that has a City Police Chief, who is the Sheriff’s son?

Sheriff Robert H. Beltner finished his tenure as Taylor County’s Sheriff on Dec.31. For most of Taylor County, as it is for myself, it feels strange addressing him as anything but Sheriff. But, as for Beltner, the opportunity to serve under the newly elected Sheriff, Terring W. Skinner, is nothing but an honor.

“I’m not ready to retire,” commented Chief Deputy Beltner, during an interview with the Mountain Statesman early Thursday morning.

Beltner’s career in law enforcement started in 1971, when the Taylor County Commission appointed him to finish the term of a Taylor County Constable. Constables were law enforcement officers under the Justice of the Peace (JP) system.

In 1972, Beltner filed to run for the Constable’s position. as a Democrat, and was elected. He served in that position from 1972 to 1976.

Beltner explained that Constable’s were like a deputy sheriff, having arrest powers, serving warrants and papers.

He further noted that, as Constable, he had the opportunity to work with the State Police, and patrol with deputies.

In 1977, the Magistrate System replaced the JP System, and Constables were no longer needed.

Beltner began his service as a deputy, under Sheriff John Hulley on January 1, 1977. During the second four years of Hulley’s service, Beltner served as Hulley’s Chief Deputy.

As Hulley left office, Beltner expanded his law enforcement career by going to work for the state. For just over four years, Beltner supervised a crew of inmates from Pruntytown Correctional Facility on various projects. He then went to work for the Department of Transportation (DOT) as an enforcement officer, dealing with over-weight trucks in weigh stations along Interstate 79.

In 1996, Beltner returned to serve Taylor County as Chief Deputy, under Sheriff Clark Sinclair. In 2003 Beltner ran for Sheriff, and was elected as the Sheriff of Taylor County in 2004, and then again 2008.

Beltner further noted that he was looking forward to working under Sheriff Skinner, as his Chief Deputy. “We have been friends, and have worked together for many years,” noted Beltner. Skinner, who had been Beltner’s Chief Deputy for the last eight years, began his service as a deputy in Taylor County, with Beltner as his training officer.

For the complete article see the 01-07-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-07-2013 paper.

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