Kyle City Council Approves New Police Chief

Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett

The Kyle City Council has approved City Manager Lanny Lambert’s selection of Jeff Barnett, currently the police chief for Princeton, Texas, to be City’s next Chief of Police.

     “Chief Barnett brings a wide range of experience and skills to our police department,” said Lambert. “I have had the pleasure of getting to know him over the past couple of weeks and there is not doubt in my mind that he is the man to lead our police department.”

Chief Barnett has served as Chief of Police for the City of Princeton, Texas, since 2005. His total of 18 years of law enforcement experience also includes 9 years with Mount Pleasant, Texas, police department where he served in various capacities including Interim Police Chief. Other experience includes working as a special agent for the FBI and teaching law enforcement classes and local junior colleges.

     “I am thrilled to be the next police chief for the City of Kyle,” said Barnett. “I believe my skills and experience in law enforcement and commitment to serving the community will be a good blend for staff and officers in helping them complete their mission to protect and serve.”

     Chief Barnett is currently working to complete his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Management – Criminal Justice Specialization through Northcentral University in Prescott Arizona. He currently holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.

     Chief Barnett is also licensed by The Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) as a Master Peace Officer, has his Paramedic License from the Texas Department of Health, and has a Firefighter Certification from the Texas Fire Commission.

     The selection process for Kyle new police chief began in February when former chief Michael Blake resigned to become police chief in Bastrop Texas. The city conducted an extensive search that yielded 75 applications from as far away as California, Oregon, Ohio and Kentucky.

     A nine-person committee that included the police chiefs from the cities of Austin and San Marcos vetted the applications. The committee also included two Kyle City council members, two City of Kyle department directors, a representative from the Kyle Police Department command staff, a representative from the Kyle Police Association.

     The new chief must pass a background check and drug test before his hiring is finalized.
The Kyle Police Department currently has 25 sworn officers in the department and are working to fill an additional 9 positions, including the police chief position.

     The City of Kyle has been one of the fastest growing cities in Texas for much of the last decade, growing from a population of 5,314 in the 2000 census, to 28,026 in the latest census.