Chesterton Tribune

Barnes out and Heckman in as Burns Harbor town marshal

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Burns Harbor Town Council members unexpectedly replaced town marshal Craig Barnes with assistant chief Mike Heckman at Wednesday’s monthly meeting.

With no discussion council president Jim McGee passed the gavel to vice-president Jeff Freeze and moved that Heckman be appointed town marshal effective immediately. Vote was unanimous.

June 5 the council met in closed executive session to discuss a job performance evaluation of individual employees.

Today, Heckman said his promotion was unexpected and he was notified at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday he was the new chief. Asked if he wanted the job, he replied, “I’ll do anything for this town that they need, there’s no question about that.”

Heckman has been a full-time Burns Harbor officer since 2007. He said under his leadership the department will continue the new Neighborhood Watch program initiated by Barnes that includes the business community.

The department also recently started offering a Nixle notification service where residents can register at to receive police-generated alerts by cell phone or email regarding road closings, dangerous weather or other emergencies.

Barnes was named town marshal Jan. 26 replacing 10-year chief Jerry Price, who had been with the department since 1983. After Wednesday’s meeting McGee said Barnes is still with the department; his previous rank was corporal. He has been with the Burns Harbor department for six years.

When asked after the meeting to comment on Heckman’s appointment, McGee said, “It’s just one of those options in a department; we can change department heads."




Posted 6/14/2012