A police officer, who was known by his colleagues as “one of the good ones,” was killed in the line of duty.
On Feb. 11, Major Greg Barney of the Riverdale Police Department in Georgia, was shot and killed while serving a no-knock warrant. Barney, who worked in law enforcement for 27 years, was a very well-respected, highly-trained figure in the local community, as reported by WSB-TV News.
"Yesterday, our community lost a well loved and very respected member of Clayton County law-enforcement, Major Greg Barney,” stated Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. “Because of his charismatic personality, Major Barney was an iconic figure in the City of Riverdale. Anyone whoever lived or worked in the Riverdale knew him, and his name was synonymous with the city.”
The beloved law enforcement official first joined the Riverdale Police Department in 1990. In 2002, he was promoted to captain, and two years later, he reached the rank of major.
In 2004, Barney became the first African-American chief in Riverdale’s history. As the previous chief resigned over racial tension among the police force, Barney worked to improve and restore the department’s image and foster a healthy relationship with the local community.
“Major Barney loved being a policeman, and his passion for law-enforcement made him one of the best,” continued Hill’s statement. “His work was a major contributing reason why the community and law-enforcement in Clayton County work together so well.”
During the incident that took his life, Barney was not wearing a bulletproof vest. Riverdale Police Chief Todd Spivey explained to WSB-TV News that members of command staff who spend much of their time on administrative do not typically wear a vest.
"I think it's a difficult time for everybody,” Clayton County Police Chief Mike Register. “You know, law enforcement, the officer's family, the community. Anytime something like this happens, it's just sad. When one officer falls, we all fall."
Local residents view the death as a tragic loss to the community, as the fallen officer was seen by many as more than a police officer.
"Major Barney really tried to help our community and our kids and this is really tragic, very tragic loss," Michelle Bruce, Riverdale resident, told WSB-TV News.
"He gave all he had to the community he served," said Riverdale resident Robin Palmer, who credits Barney for saving her life numerous lives.