“You’re not a corporal any more.”
With those words outgoing town marshal Jerry Price pinned his chief’s badge
on Craig Barnes’ uniform following his unanimous appointment by the Burns
Harbor Town Council to lead the department.
Price told Barnes the town marshal’s badge weighs exactly the same as a
deputy’s badge, “but the responsibility it carries will weigh more heavily.
Believe in your guys (and) believe in the people of this town. You’re
nothing without them.”
Barnes’ wife Jennifer pinned the additional stars on his uniform during
Thursday night’s ceremony.
Price told Barnes he will be called upon to be a confidant, big brother and
protector. “Make us all proud of you. I know you will.” The 19 residents,
family and friends in the audience gave Barnes a standing ovation.
Council president Jim McGee, Police Department liaison, told Barnes, “It’s
my pleasure the council chose you to be chief and take us into the future
with our growth, and we’ll assist you.”
Price’s retirement from the force is effective Jan. 31 but he will continue
to receive vacation pay and benefits through Feb. 29.
The council also voted 5-0 to hire Adam Zosso as a full-time patrolman. He’s
worked part-time for Burns Harbor since 2008 and has worked for Portage
beginning in 2004. Price gave Zosso his Unit 5 department designation that
Price has held since joining Burns Harbor’s ranks in 1983.
Zosso will start at a first-class patrolman’s wage rate although the
six-month probationary period still applies.
The night’s third hire was Robert Wesley of Porter as a full-time laborer
with Burns Harbor’s Street/Sanitation Departments. More than 30 people
applied for the job. It tentatively was agreed 60 percent of Wesley’s wages
will be paid by the Sanitary Board, the balance by the Town Council.
After the meeting Barnes said he’s worked either full or part-time for Burns
Harbor for six years and has been involved in law enforcement since 1998. Of
the department he’ll now lead, “We have a great team,” said Barnes. “All the
officers are top notch.”
The town is growing and the Police Department will change to meet those
needs including additional training for officers, said Barnes, who indicated
he has a long list of goals. “There’s probably three times the residents now
than before. I’d like to do more community activities and resurrect the