NITRO, W.Va. -- Brian Oxley always knew he would be a police officer.
Nitro's new police chief grew up in a family of officers. Both his stepfather and grandfather served with the West Virginia State Police. His mother was a civilian working with the State Police, too.
Even Oxley's wife, Leslie, works for the Regional Jail Authority.
"You grew up seeing them come home in the uniform, seeing the car parked in the driveway," recalled Oxley, 39. "You can't go to a Thanksgiving dinner or family reunion without hearing police story after police story."
Oxley grew up in Alum Creek, and graduated from George Washington High School in 1991. He got his first job in law enforcement in 1995, working in the regional jail system as a corrections officer.
Oxley spent two years as a campus police officer at West Virginia State University before going to work for the Nitro Police Department in 1998. He's been there ever since.
Last month, in one of his first acts in office, newly elected Nitro Mayor Dave Casebolt appointed Oxley as police chief, replacing longtime Nitro Police Chief Jack Jordan. It's a job that will take some getting used to.
"I'm not a desk sitter and talker," Oxley said, fidgeting behind his wooden desk in the chief's office downtown.
"I have to learn to sit up here," he said. "This is awkward for me."
But Oxley is no stranger to administrative duties. For the past year or so, he has been working on an integrated citywide crime watch program designed to make it easier for citizens and police to get to know each other and work together.
"I don't want a neighborhood watch," he said. "I don't want one or two people out patrolling.
"When the criminals come to Nitro and see those blue reflective crime watch stickers, they know that they have to worry about not only the police department, but that every citizen in Nitro knows how to get in touch with the police."