If the job was really like what is portrayed on television, many people would eagerly apply for jobs that include investigative crime solving. Middlesboro Police Sgt. Wade Barnett knows the truth about the position and it has kept him coming back to work for nearly 20 years.
Barnett is a Middlesboro native and a Bell Central High School graduate in 1985.
“Ever since I was a child, I always had the dream of being a police officer. When I got out of high school I chased some other dreams that didn’t pan out, but now I think it was for the better,” said Barnett.
He worked for the Bell County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve officer where he had on-the-job training and hands-on experience which he feels better prepared him for his current position. While working for sheriff’s office, he helped with inmate transports and arrests.
He graduated from the Department of Criminal Justice Training Center in Richmond and was hired by MPD in May of 1997. Now, Barnett is a sergeant and focuses on theft patrol and investigating crimes.
“I like solving cases for people and putting the bad guys behind bars. It gives me satisfaction when I solve a case, arrest the bad guy and am able to recover someones stolen property for them,” said Barnett.
Barnett’s most memorable case involves a man who raped a handicapped woman.
“I was able to put the rapist behind bars and it felt really good to solve that one. I want to solve all of my cases, but some of them just really get to you, and stick with you,” said Barnett.
In his free time, Barnett enjoys going to amusement parks with his children Madisyn and Maliyah. He also rides motorcycles with his wife of 11 years, Amanda.
As a motorcycle enthusiast and police officer, safety is always in the front of Barnett’s mind. He has seen several accidents and encourages riders to be extra cautious when on motorcycles.
“They are dangerous and it crosses my mind every time I’m out riding. You have to watch really close and a lot of motorcycle accidents are because people are going too fast, so you’ve just got to take your time. It’s just really important to stay at a safe speed,” said Barnett.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.