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Officer Thomas Barber joins Northville Police Department
He began with the department on Dec. 4 and, like other officers on the force, works 12 hour shifts for now. When asked how he stays awake, he’s quick to reply, “Coffee.”
A 2009 graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s Criminology Program and a veteran of the Baltimore Police Academy, his goal as a police officer is to deal effectively with criminals, protect the victims and deploy methods that prevent crime.
“I have worked in a high stress, high call volume police department (of 89 square miles) and bring that experience to Northville,” – a city of only two square miles. “The crime scenes are totally different – there, you go to a crime scene, make the arrests and hand it off to an investigator. Here, I will be involved in the crime scene and the investigation and ultimately appear in court.”
He anticipates educating officers in Northville about how to manage a crime scene. He is also eager to learn from others about the role of a police officer in a smaller community.
The Baltimore Police Academy sends newly hired officers through a six-month training program before they become a full-fledged officer. The action-oriented bookend of his education complemented the cerebral bookend of earning a college degree.
Barber is originally from Springfield Township, near Holly. He learned of the job through a posting on a police employment website and was excited about coming back home to Michigan. He is married and has two children.
Working in a small town job brings him closer to the community. “I truly believe if you know the people who you are working with and for, life as a police officer is much easier. You’re not seen as just a blue uniform,” he said. “I want to serve everyone equally – residents, business owners and visitors.”
His beat involves patrolling the City. He expects the most action will be in policing traffic violations and property crime. What he likes most about being a police officer is “helping those that can’t help themselves. I would like to be a guide for those that have been victimized. I try to prevent crimes before they happen.”
He’s ready for policing all of the events that Northville holds. He personally attended the 2017 Heritage Festival and found it to be well organized with effective traffic rerouting.