Any railroad company owning, or leasing and operating, or using any railroad or traction line or system lying wholly or partially within this state, whether such railroad be operated by steam or electric power, may apply to the Governor to appoint such citizen or citizens of this state as such railroad company may designate, to act as special police officers for such railroad or traction company, with the consent of such citizen or citizens; and the Governor may, upon such application, appoint and commission such person or persons, or so many of them as he may deem proper, as such special police officers. Every police officer so appointed shall appear before some person authorized to administer oaths and take and subscribe the oath prescribed in the fifth section of the fourth article of the Constitution, and shall file such oath with the clerk of the county commission, or other tribunal in lieu thereof, of the county in which he shall reside. He or she shall also file certified copies of such oath in the office of the Secretary of State, and in the office of the clerk of the county commission, or other tribunal established in lieu thereof, of each county through which such railroad or any portion thereof may extend. Every police officer appointed under the provisions of this section shall be a conservator of the peace within each county in which any part of such railroad may be situated, and in which such oath or a certified copy thereof shall have been filed with the clerk of the county commission or other tribunal established in lieu thereof; and, in addition thereto, he shall possess and may exercise all the powers and authority, and shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities within such counties, as are now or hereafter may be vested in or conferred upon a deputy sheriff of such county. Any appointment made by the Governor under the provisions of this section may be revoked by him or her for good cause shown, and such police officers may be removed from office for official misconduct, incompetence, habitual drunkenness, neglect of duty or gross immorality, in the same manner in which regularly elected or appointed county officers may be removed from office. Whenever any such railroad company shall desire to dispense with the services of any police officer, it may file a notice to that effect, under its corporate seal, attested by its secretary, in each of the several offices in which such oath or certified copy thereof shall have been filed; and, thereupon, the powers of the police officer shall cease and determine. Police officers may wear such uniform and badge of authority, or either, as the railroad company, upon whose application they were appointed, may designate, and such railroad company shall pay them for all services rendered pursuant to his or her appointment.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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