CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Members of the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) have volunteered to provide staffing assistance to various state institutes after Governor Justice declared a State of Emergency in the face of a staffing shortage.

“More than 50 West Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen” will assist the West Virginia Department of Corrections, Regional Jail Authority and Division of Juvenile Services, starting orientation at support facilities on Aug. 22.

“The West Virginia National Guard proudly supports our state agency partners during times of need and this request for assistance is no different,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, the Adjutant General of West Virginia. “Our personnel have accomplished this mission in the past with success and we have a great group of volunteers who are ready to step up and alleviate the staffing shortages for our state’s correctional officers. The most important thing we can do is ensure that there are appropriate levels of safety and security in facilities across the state to help ensure our citizens and the men and women of corrections are safe.”

This development comes after Governor Justice signed Executive Order 5-22, which declared a State of Emergency in West Virginia, empowering the Adjutant General and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security so that they could “alleviate staffing shortages, not to exceed one year.”

The WVNG volunteers, who will act under a “State Active Duty” status, will go through in-processing in Charleston before being assigned to facilities across the state.

The volunteers will provide assistance in “administrative functions, control center management, camera operations or other duties that are not in direct contact with inmates.”