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Perry Barfield to serve as interim police chief

Perry Barfield to serve as interim police chief

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Assistant Police Chief Perry Barfield is heading up the Union City Police Department in an interim capacity following the retirement of longtime chief Joe Garner.
Union City city manager Kathy Dillon told The Messenger the veteran assistant chief will be the head of the department until any long-term decision is made.
She said she wants to do what is best for the community and the police department, emphasizing she wants to maintain a level of high standards that have been set and take great care in making any decision about a permanent chief.
“It will be a big challenge to fill Joe’s shoes in the future and we want to take great care and take our time,” she said last week.
Barfield, 55, will mark his 30th year with the Union City Police Department next week and has served as assistant police chief for the past 11 years.
Originally from Nashville, he has lived in northwest Tennessee for the past 35 years and is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin. He began his law enforcement career with the Martin Police Department and was there about two years before joining the Union City police force.
Barfield said he does not know how long he will be serving in an interim or acting police chief capacity and he has indicated he has an interest in a possible permanent role as chief.
He said he hopes to make some positive adjustments and he welcomes any input from the community, the city council and the police department staff, adding that he is willing to listen to any comments or concerns.
Garner, 56, officially retired effective Saturday and was honored with a reception last week. He had been in law enforcement for 36 years, with 33 of those being served with the City of Union City. He had worked his way up through the ranks and had served as chief for 19 years, since May 1993.
Garner also retired June 30, 2009, from the U.S. military through his assignment to the Tennessee Army National Guard, finishing at the rank of colonel with 31 years of service.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 5.22.12

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