ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — A discussion on personal safety amongst St. Albans residents and law enforcement agencies tries to keep the bond in the community and surrounding areas strong.

Representatives from West Virginia State Police, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department and St. Albans Police stopped by the St. Francis School in St. Albans Tuesday night to talk with residents who may be concerned or have questions they want answered about the safety of the area.

Paul Niedbalski helped organize the meeting. He is Pastoral Council President at St Francis of Assisi in St. Albans as well as District Master for the state of West Virginia with the Knights of Columbus. Niedbalski said he felt like it was a good time to start something like this in his community.

“This was needed in St. Albans,” said Niedbalski. “We haven’t had something equivalent to a town hall meeting like this with the various government agencies and I thought this would be a great program to start.”

He was pleased with the turnout and expects to hold a similar meeting sometime down the road.

“It was a good response and if we have it again I’m sure we’ll double it,” Niedbalski said.

Of the issues brought up by local residents, homelessness and mental health issues were mentioned more than once. Both things are something law enforcement deal with on a weekly, if not a daily basis.

“Mental illness is a big factor in crime and what police agencies have to deal with in this area,” said Niedbalski.

Niedbalski said the relationship with the community and local law enforcement has always been great. He’s been a resident of St. Albans for more than 40 years.

“During that time, our relationship has always been strong,” he said.

A discussion on personal fire safety will be held in St. Albans next month.