Making a change: Town of Kenbridge police chief resigns

KENBRIDGE – After three years of serving as police chief, Ben Barnes has called it quits with the Kenbridge Police Department. 

According to Kenbridge Town Manger Tony Matthews, Barnes resigned as of Dec. 31 and did not give a reason as to why.

“His resignation letter did not state the reason, and we did not ask,” Matthews said. “He (Barnes) thanked the Mayor, Council and Town Manager for the experience and opportunity.”

According to Matthews, Barnes also did not state any future plans. 

A look back and ahead for Kenbridge police

Barnes, who grew up right outside Kenbridge and attended Kenston Forest School, joined the local police force in 2017 and served as interim police chief until the council officially appointed him as chief in 2020.

“He has done an impeccable job leading the Kenbridge Police Department over the last three years, almost single-handedly building a great team, Matthews said of Barbes. “He will be missed, but we wish him the best.”

Matthews said Lt. Chris Wallace was promoted to Chief beginning Jan. 1, “He has done a great job as Sergeant and Lieutenant; undoubtedly, he will continue to thrive as Chief.” Matthews said. 

“Chief Wallace was hired as Sergeant and was promoted to Lt. by Chief Barnes. He has served in that capacity and worked for hand in hand with Chief Barnes,” Matthews continued. “He has a promising outlook for the future of the Kenbridge Police Department and plans to implement this.”

At one time, the police department had found itself with few officers to serve the town, but that has since changed. 

According to Matthew, the police department now has three full-time officers, in addition to two new hires who are in the police academy and three part-time officers who help with the scheduling of officers for complete coverage.