The council voted March 16 to hire John Barber as chief. Barber was a major with the Mobile Police Department where he served since 1996. The new chief is already a resident of Spanish Fort, according to city officials.
Spanish Fort Chief David Edgar was chief for 20 years before he retired in November. Since then, Lt. Kenny Hall has acted as interim chief, but Hall announced plans to retire at the end of March.
The City Council began interviewing candidates in early March and conducted five to eight interviews before deciding on the new chief, according to officials.
Mayor Mike McMillan said Barber was a good choice to lead the department.
“He’s an experienced professional administrator, very good at what he does,” McMillan said. “He has the experience and expertise that we need for the department.”
Councilman Curt Smith said the council went through a number of applicants and interviews before deciding on Barber.
“We had a lot of good candidates,” Smith said. “It was a hard choice, but I think we got the right man. I think he’s going to do a great job for the city.”
In a statement on social media, Barber said he was looking forward to the new position.
“I am excited to work with my new blue family in Spanish Fort and with the elected officials to progress Spanish Fort P.D. into being the premier department in the region,” Barber said. “I look forward to meeting all of the officers and support staff, as well as the citizens in the community, as we learn more about each other and how we can increase the quality of life for those that work, live and play in the Spanish Fort community. “
The Spanish Fort police chief is responsible for planning all law enforcement activities for the city, interviewing candidates for department positions, assigning duties and supervising employees. Other duties include coordinating operations, preparing the department budget, developing policies and procedures, leading the day to day operations of the department and preparing reports.