Barr, Ennis interview for police chief

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Troy mayor and city council interviewed the two candidates for police chief on Tuesday.

“I’m proud we have both these guys working for the department,” said council president Johnny Witherington after the interviews. “They’re both good people and they’d both do a good job.”

Capt. Jimmy Ennis, who oversees the investigation division, and Capt. Randall Barr, who oversees the patrol division, are the two candidates being considered to replace Chief Anthony Everage, who will retire Sept. 30.

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“I don’t believe anybody can fill his shoes,” Ennis said at the end of his interview. “All I can do is follow in the footsteps he has left … He has set a true course for the police department and it’s a good course.”

Both Ennis and Barr praised Everage, who has led the department for 14 years.

“I’ve been a part of a positive experience,” Barr said. “Our department is on good, solid ground and has been for quite some time.”

Barr has 22 years of law enforcement experience, 20 of it with the Troy Police Department. Throughout his career, Barr said he has set goals for himself and worked to achieve those. One was to achieve the rank of lieutenant. “When I got that, I had to reassess: ‘where do we go from here.’”

Barr said he would take an approach of “leading by example” if appointed chief. “I think it’s important to be a doer, not just somebody who gives orders.”

And, he said, his priorities would be training and equipping officers, recruiting and retaining officers and “putting the right people in the right places within the department.”

“Numbers don’t make a department, people make a department,” he said.

Ennis started his law enforcement career in 1983 in Brantley and worked in Brundidge before joining the Troy Police Department in 1985. During his tenure with the department, he has worked every shift and was nominated to attend the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, something he said was “very beneficial to me” and an opportunity he would like to give other Troy officers.

He places hiring and training the right people at the top of his priority list. “The most important character trait is their character: how truthful are they?” Ennis said. “If you’re not a truthful person, you’re ruined from the very beginning in this job.”

Ennis said his daily contact with the current chief and his exposure to the different areas of the police department helped prepare him for the role of chief. “I feel like I know the day-to-day activities of the department … and I’ve worked routine operations to high profile cases. I think that has given me a very good idea of what this job requires.

“And, I think we also know what the citizens of Troy and you, the mayor and council, expect out of your police department.”

Ennis described himself as “more a pusher than a puller” and said he believes in setting high expectations for himself, his family and his coworkers. “When you expect something from people, they’re probably going to meet your expectations,” he said.

And while Ennis said he looks forward to the opportunity to serve as chief, he echoed the commitment to the force that Barr shared. “I believe in treating people fairly. I believe in being honest. And I believe in doing the right thing,” he said. “My daddy told me one time, ‘Son, be humble and be loyal to whoever you work for.’ That’s what I’ve tried to do and what I’ll continue to do.”

Witherington said the council members hope to make an appointment during their July 12 meeting.