Sheriff taps new chief jailer, promotes officer

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Kevin Barnes

David Brake.JPG

Staff Writer

Thursday, April 4, 2019

A week after five inmates escaped the Nash County Detention Center, the jail administrator has been moved to supervise a different division, a new top jailer with prison supervision experience has been brought on board and a longtime captain has been promoted to major.

Kevin Barnes, a retired prison supervisor, was hired at the beginning of the week to take over jail operations, the Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday.

Sheriff Keith Stone said he congratulates Barnes and wishes him success in his new role.

David Brake, a captain in the Sheriff's Office, was promoted Monday. He's now a major.

Stone said the majors will share responsibilities while he and Chief Deputy Brandon Medina handle office matters.

"The majors will now be boots on the ground," Stone said.

The Sheriff's Office has two majors, Brake and the recently promoted Miste Strickland.

Curtis Moore, the jail's former administrator, has assumed Brake's former role as supervisor of the Civil Division.

Brake graduated from Northern Nash High School in 1986 and joined the Marine Corps. He performed security work in the Philippines and at Camp Lejeune. He participated in two combat campaigns, the invasion of Panama and the liberation of Kuwait.

Returning to civilian life in 1991, Brake served as a correctional officer at Central Prison in Raleigh, Nash Correctional Institution in Nashville and Caledonia Prison in Halifax.

Brake began his employment with the Sheriff’s Office in 2002 as a patrol deputy then a criminal investigator in 2003.

During his tenure with the criminal investigative division, Brake successfully managed and investigated numerous cases and played a significant role in the resolution and prosecution of many major crimes, Medina said.

Brake worked his way up through the ranks and became captain of the Civil Division.

Brake said he has a strong belief and dedication to the Sheriff’s Office’s core values of honor, compassion and diligence.

"Major Brake excels in the management and supervision of staff and has a compassion for community involvement," Medina said. "He has deep compassion for the safety and well-being of the citizens of Nash County as well as all citizens of the United States."

Barnes is a Wilson County native with experience in overseeing state prisons in North Carolina. He came out of retirement to take charge of the Nash County jail.

With a career that began in 1987 as correctional officer at Polk Youth Center in Raleigh, Barnes has 31 years of prison experience and more than 28 years of supervising experience in correctional management, Medina said.

Before retiring from the state Department Public Safety, Barnes served two years as administrator at Warren Correctional Institution in Warrenton.

"Kevin Barnes has a lifetime of prison administration experience," Stone said. "He will be a valuable asset."

Barnes oversaw a prison that housed more than 850 male inmates in close, medium and minimum custody. The prison had 400 employees and an annual $20 million operating budget.

Barnes has worked in 11 different custody levels and held various managerial positions in Wake, Nash, Pasquotank, Pamlico, Craven, Wayne and Warren counties. He has been involved in prison construction and the openings of Nash Correctional Institution in Nashville, Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City, Craven Correctional Institution in Vanceboro and Pamlico Correctional Institution in Bayboro, according to information provided by the Sheriff's Office.

Barnes was the assistant commander for the Prison Emergency Response Team for eight years. Barnes has earned various awards, including the Old North State Award, and he has completed the Correctional Leadership Development Program.

While working in the correctional field, Barnes went back to school in 2010 at Wesleyan College and graduated in 2014 with three bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, psychology and religious studies. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in criminal justice at Kaplan University.

Barnes, who is married with an adult child, is active at Contending for the Faith Church Ministries.