Luke Reed, Correspondent
Micheal Barton, the director of the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency, was sworn in as the chief of the university police and director of public safety on Tuesday.
“Investing in our future is important and helping our developing leaders to make safe choices is something that is always a priority,” said Barton when asked why he chose to apply for this position.
Barton, a graduate of JSU, earned his bachelor’s degree in emergency management, with a double minor in political science and sociology in the early 2000s.
While still at JSU, Barton gained experience in his field by becoming a resource officer for Etowah County. Barton said that being a resource office and having that experience was by far the “best job in law enforcement.”
Barton eventually moved on to other jobs, such as an investigator for the FBI. He also served Etowah County as sheriff assistant chief and chief deputy sheriff before becoming director of Calhoun County emergency management.
Barton is notable in the community for his role as EMA director in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the county and his ability to unify local government, health professionals and other valuable sources to prevent passengers of a coronavirus-quarantined ship from being housed at the Anniston FEMA center last February.
With COVID-19 infections on the rise, Barton explains that “safety is everyone’s responsibility.”
“It is not only the professionals that work to keep everyone safe during these times, but everyone must take part in safety,” he said.
Barton is succeeding former UPD chief Rob Schaffer, who ended his tour of duty in September after serving 25 years in law enforcement.
CORRECTION: Earlier, our story said Barton worked for the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. Barton actually worked for Etowah County Sheriff’s Office