BPD, City proclaim new honoree for 5th Annual Recognition Day

Coffman with officers of BPD and other officials

BUCKHANNON — Members of the Buckhannon City Council and of the Buckhannon Police Department (BPD) gathered together to proclaim former police officer David Coffman as the 2022 City of Buckhannon’s fifth annual honoree. Coffman’s family and friends and other members of the community were also present for the celebration. The event took place at the Public Safety Complex at 2 p.m.

The event included an invocation performed by Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis. Following the invocation Mayor Robbie Skinner and BPD Chief Matt Gregory then continued with greetings and introduction of special guests. Remarks were provided by Chief Gregory and included details about Coffman. Coffman was born in Buckhannon, WV on September 17, 1953. His wife is Sandra and he is the father of Jeff (Wife, Cassie) and Mike (Wife, Amy) and has four grandkids, including Cori, Claire, Evan, and Sarah.

Coffman is an alum of Buckhannon-Upshur High School and graduated in the class of 1972. Coffman served as a member of the BPD from 1977 to 1988 and joined the WV DNR from 1988 to 1990. Coffman served with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office in October of 1990 as Deputy and then was promoted to Sergeant and then Chief Deputy in 2005 and retired from Lewis County Sheriff’s Office in 2011. Coffman served as Federal Court Security Officer in Elkins from 2011 to 2012 and was elected Sheriff of Upshur County in 2012 and served two terms from 2013 to 2020. Coffman’s passions include hunting, fishing and golf.

Mayor Skinner then presented the City of Buckhannon’s Proclamation to David Coffman. The proclamation was read aloud and is as follows.

“Whereas our Buckhannon-Upshur community is very proud and supportive of our police officers who serve and protect us all while placing their lives on the line during every one of the challenging and uncertain shifts they work; and,

“Whereas, the City of Buckhannon in 2017 resolved to annually recognize, honor and pay tribute to all police officers on each Wednesday during the annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival and on May 17, 2017 specially recognized Wilbert H. “Webb” Grubb, the only City police officer ever to die in the line of duty who gave his life for our community on April 21, 1940, then in May of 2018 recognized former BPD Lieutenant Keith Rowan, in May of 2019 recognized former BPD Police Chief Fred Gaudet and then in May of 2021 recognized former BPD Lieutenant Darrell Bennett; and,

“Whereas, our City government family and Police Department will celebrate the fifth annual Webb Grubb Police Officer Recognition Day to be conducted at our City’s Public Safety Complex beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 and our B-U community is proud to recognize as the fifth recipient of our BPD’s most prestigious award, Former Police Officer David Coffman as our 2022 Webb Grubb honoree and encourage all of David Coffman’s family members, former fellow officers, friends and admirers as well as those of Officer Webb Grubb and further of all police officers during our fifth annual tribute and celebration; and,

“Whereas our City further shall dedicate its “Wall of Blue” – in honor of and tribute to Officer Webb Grubb, Lieutenant Keith Rowan, Chief Fred Gaudet, Lieutenant Darrell Bennett, Officer David Coffman and all of our future police officer honorees during Webb Grubb Police Officer Recognition Days to come.

“Now, therefore, I, Robbie Skinner, Mayor of the city of Buckhannon, pursuant to the power and authority duly vested in me, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, May 18, 2022, to be “Webb Grubb Police Officer Recognition Day” throughout our City of Buckhannon. I further proclaim that our City’s 2022 fifth annual honoree shall be David Coffman who served the Buckhannon Police Department from 1977 to 1988.  I hereby direct the installation of a wall suitable for installation of placards to be located along Webb Grubb Lane located around our Public Safety Complex to forever honor and recognize David Coffman together with Wilbert H. “Webb” Grubb, Lieutenant Keith Rowan, Chief Fred Gaudet, Lieutenant Darrell Bennett and all future police officer honorees for their gallant service in protecting all of us in our Buckhannon-Upshur community.

“I urge all residents and Festival visitors alike to join the family and friends of our 2022 honoree, David Coffman, together with all area police officers, the family of Officer Grubb and me, along with other members of our city government family and friends near and far at our fifth annual “Webb Grubb Police Officer Recognition Day” public ceremony.  May every Wednesday during Buckhannon’s annual Strawberry Festival now and always be known as “Webb Grubb Day” in honor and memory of our late, fallen police officer, Wilbert H. “Webb” Grubb, and further in tribute to and appreciation of the dedicated, public service of all of our B-U community’s police officers.

“Given under my hand and official seal of The City of Buckhannon, this 18th day of May 2022.”

Remarks were then made by David Coffman and his family members. Several in attendance shared their memories of working with Coffman with some being humorous and others were heartfelt with many shedding tears during the emotional speech. The event continued with the presentation of the BPD Wall of Blue with David Coffman and his family. Closing remarks were provided by Chief Gregory and benediction by Magistrate Mark Davis closed the event.

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