BUFORD — After a decade as the law enforcement operations supervisor for one of the nation’s busiest lakes, Thomas Barnard will join the command staff for Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources.
DNR last week promoted Barnard, who formerly served as the law enforcement supervisor for Lake Lanier, to the rank of major.
Joining 22 years ago and serving in north Georgia, Barnard said he never thought of ascending the ranks to this point.
“I don’t even know how to explain it. God’s got a plan for everybody and puts you in certain places at certain times, and this is where I ended up,” he said.
His time with DNR has led to deployments including the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, working at the Georgia World Congress Center, as well as the deadly 2005 Hurricane Katrina.
During the weeks in the areas hit by the storm, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and DNR joined with Mississippi agencies in the Body Recovery Team.
“We gained a lot of respect for each other during those times, and all those deployments, that’s a lot of agencies coming together ... and you forge a lot of friendships over the years and also gain a lot of respect for other agencies and what they do and carry those with you throughout your career,” Barnard said.
Barnard’s position puts him over field operations, working on the day-to-day operations for law enforcement.
“To me, that’s the most crucial component of our division because that is our men and women that do the job each and every day. Try to meet their need, looking after them the best we can and just being a serving leader to those folks and working with them to me is the greatest challenge there,” he said.
Barnard most recently served as captain and supervised 19 north Georgia counties.
“We are glad to have Major Barnard at [headquarters] and I believe his many years of experience at the region level will be a great asset to the entire law enforcement division,” said DNR Law Enforcement Director Col. Eddie Henderson in a news release.
“He has been very successful as a leader in two of our regions and I’m looking forward to his continued success at the statewide level.”