MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The Police Review and Advisory Board in Morgantown, the only such entity in the state plans their first case study with the police and is making a push to recruit members to serve.

The board will review an arrest made by Morgantown police on August 30, 2021, at the Sheetz location downtown on University Avenue. Before being seated as a board member, Megan Gandy witnessed the interaction. She pulled into the parking lot to see four police cruisers in the parking lot and officers interacting with a black female who appeared to be upset.

“I saw one black female; she was animated and upset,” Gandy said. “All she was saying was that she wanted to go inside and buy a hotdog. I’m hungry. I’m hungry. I just want a hotdog.”

Gandy said at that point she began to record the incident on her phone because she questioned the number of officers who responded to the single female subject.

“They continued to not allow her to enter the Sheetz, and they didn’t verbalize at that time why, but they may have since,” Gandy said. “Then they did engage her and arrest her.”

Board Chairman Rich Burks said they would like police to walk through the entire response and explain procedures that are in place for similar responses.

“I’m one of these people who wants to know the beginning—I want the 911 call,” Burks said. “What was the actual call? Did they talk to the manager of Sheetz before they confronted the people outside?”

A public forum is planned at the Morgantown Public Library on February 8 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Board members want the public to learn more about what they do to help marginalized communities and promote transparency.

The board has nine slots; seven members are currently serving, and they are hoping to use that public forum to recruit new members.

“We want to improve communication between the community and police, and vice versa between the police and community members,” Gandy said.

The ordinance establishing the board and application are on the City of Morgantown website. The committee has completed its operating bylaws; however, they are not on the website but are available from a member.

A request for comment has been made with Morgantown police.