City of Southfield appoints Elvin Barren new Police Chief

July 9, 2019

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The Southfield City Council approved City Administrator Fred Zorn’s appointment of Elvin Barren as the new Police Chief at the July 8 City Council Meeting. Chief Barren will begin his employment on July 29.

Chief Barren previously served as Deputy Chief of Police of the Detroit Police Department (DPD) where he commanded the largest bureau in the DPD, including eight major units, a yearly budget of $137 million and over 1,100 police officers. During his 21 years of service with DPD, he has over 12 years of command experience with over six years at the rank of commander or above.

“The selection of Mr. Barren as the new police chief will serve the community well,” commented City Administrator Fred Zorn. “With over 20 years of solid law enforcement experience in protecting and serving the public, he will make a great addition to our team and will carry on the high standards of the city of Southfield and the Southfield Police Department.”

Chief Barren holds an Associates of Science degree in Law Enforcement Administration from Wayne County Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Central Michigan University and is currently completing a Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University. Mr. Barren is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police and has completed training at the Police Executives’ and New Chiefs’ School, sponsored by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief Barren also completed the Leadership in Counterterrorism Program (LinCT) sponsored by the FBI and has completed several other training and leadership development programs.

He previously served as the Deputy Chief of Neighborhood Policing Bureau-East for the Detroit Police Department. In this position, he commanded Detroit’s largest Bureau, overseeing day-to-day operations of the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th Precincts as well as the Downtown Services Division, Gaming Operations and the Metropolitan Division, which includes: Tactical Response Unit (TRU), Special Response Team (SWAT), K-9, Harbor Master, Bomb Squad, Traffic Enforcement, Mounted Division and Aviation. Chief Barren is also a veteran of the United States Navy, serving eight years as an Operations Specialist in addition to his over 20 years of experience in law enforcement, with eight years at the supervisory, management and executive levels.

The city of Southfield conducted a comprehensive national search to fill the Chief of Police position following the resignation of former Chief Eric Hawkins last September. Southfield Deputy Police Chiefs Nick Loussia and Brian Bassett were selected as the Acting Police Chiefs by City Administrator Fred Zorn during the chief recruitment process.

“This outstanding appointment reflects the City’s utmost commitment to the safety and security of Southfield residents, businesses and all those who enter the City on a daily basis,” added Mayor Ken Siver. “The Southfield Police Department will continue to function extremely efficiently under the direction of Chief Barren – providing the community with unparalleled public safety and proactive law enforcement services and programs.

The Southfield Police Department provides a full range of quality public safety services which include marked and unmarked patrol units, a well-trained Investigative staff, and outstanding Crime Prevention services. The department has been honored for outstanding service award from the Michigan Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Outstanding Crime Prevention Award by the Michigan Crime Prevention Association, and by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police for its outstanding community policing programs.

Southfield Police Officers are supported by the latest technology and equipment available. Computers are installed in all marked patrol units to provide faster access to vital information about suspects, victims and addresses in and around the city of Southfield. The radio system represents an important improvement in the speed and efficiency of the department’s communication technology. Further, the Police Department have instituted a FAX Network for local businesses and private police. This system is designated to share crime prevention and other information with the private sector in a timely manner. The department has installed a computerized arrest photo system, fingerprint system, computer aided dispatch and records management system. The Southfield Police Department is continuously adding new technology and crime fighting strategies to their existing police concepts to remains a leader in law enforcement and policing.