Last night the Saline County Quorum Court selected Cleve Barfield as interim Saline County Sheriff. Channel 7 News spoke with Barfield today about his plans to help the office, embroiled in a criminal investigation by the Arkansas State Police and a special prosecutor.
Josh Mesker, a voting member of the court told Channel 7 that the court voted 13 to 0 for Barfield.
"I just respected his experience with the state police, from everybody we talked to, it seems like he has a lot of respect with his peers, so that was the main thing that stood out was his experience," Mesker said.
Barfield said coming out of retirement after 39 years in law enforcement was an easy choice for him because he saw the need.
"Well to be frank with you, I've had 39 years of law enforcement already and saw this as a need I could fulfill that did have a definite end time that I could perhaps continue my retirement with my family after that," Barfield said.
In Barfield's six month plan he submitted to the court, he said he perform his own inventory on items in the office. Previous to Barfield's appointment, a police car had been missing, but was later located.
"I'll find what we find. If there's something not right we'll address it. I hope everything's there as it should be and we'll just have to go from there," Barfield said.
Barfield also said he would personally interview everyone in the sheriff's office.
"The main reason for that is to get me familiar with them, to let them know me and let them know what I expect from Oct. 1st, on," Barfield said.
Barfield said he is not planning for mass firings within the office.
"I know there's some good people in the Saline County Sheriff's Office, I feel the majority are good people, and they will have a job if they're up to the task and do what's expected of them," Barfield said.