South Boston Police Department Capt. Dennis W. Barker is transitioning from working with the police department to working with the town as the new assistant town manager.

Town manager Tom Raab made the announcement Wednesday saying that Barker will begin his new role on Feb. 1.

“I’ve been very happy serving this town and their citizens, and I’ll continue to help out all that I can. I wish this agency the best,” said Barker.

He is a 1992 graduate of Randolph-Henry High School, received his AS. in Criminal Justice Services in 2000. He graduated from the Southside Information Technology Academy in 2019 and is CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Server+ certified. Captain Barker is currently pursuing a public administration degree from Liberty University.

Barker is a veteran of the US Marine Corps, where he was trained as a computer programmer, becoming proficient in a wide array of information technology areas. After leaving the Marine Corps in 1996, Barker returned home and began his career at the South Boston Police Department. He rose thru the ranks to become Captain, second in command, in 2018.

After 28 years as a soldier and lawman, Barker decided to pursue a second career in the IT field.

“I decided to explore IT options as that was one of my main duties while I was in the Marines, IT network and computer repair,” said Barker.

After taking IT certification classes at the Southern Virginia Higher Ed Center, Barker saw that the town was looking for an assistant town manger.

During town council’s bi-annual strategic planning session, they decided one goal was to identify gaps where additional personnel were needed. The group agreed there was a need for a fulltime IT person and an assistant town manager.

Raab said, “After the position was advertised and resumes reviewed, he knew the town had the best person already on staff that could fill both positions — Captain Dennis Barker. He knows the town, the citizens, the employees, IT and has basically served as ‘assistant manager’ of the police department for years.”

Captain Barker will transition to second in command in the town’s administration, providing the town manager and council with an experienced professional to lead the town into the future.

The town manager added, “We are extremely pleased that Dennis was interested in the position — he is too valuable of an employee to lose. His attention to detail and his work ethic are amazing. He clearly has the skills and ability to be an excellent assistant town manager. The town of South Boston is lucky to have him.”

Barker also thanked Raab and others for this opportunity.

“I’m very happy that I was selected. I love this town. I am very thankful to Mr. Raab, the mayor and town council for this opportunity,” said Barker.

As he makes the move to the town offices, Barker said he will assist the police department with this transition.