City Hall - Clayton, NC
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Fresh Young Face Joins Force 

Updated December 7, 2012

The Clayton Police Department welcomed its newest and now youngest member this week. In a brief ceremony in the Council Chambers at The Clayton Center, 22-year-old Saddarius Barnes was officially sworn in as a Clayton police officer, bringing the force up to 42 officers.

Town Clerk Sherry Scoggins officiated the swearing in as Barnes pledged to be vigilant in carrying out his duties and enforcing the laws of the State of North Carolina. Clayton Police Chief Glen Allen then administered an ethical oath in which Barnes further pledged never to betray his new Clayton badge or the public trust.

It was then Chief Allen took time to point out the historic, yet humorous nature of the event.

"We need to take note of this...because, as Police Chief, it really tickles me to be able to say that what you see up here before you is Clayton's youngest police officer and Clayton's oldest police officer!" said Chief Allen chuckling.

Barnes is a graduate of the Wake Technical Community College's Basic Law Enforcement Training Program, where he went through months of study in law and police work and became acclimated to the 12-hour shifts. Barnes also worked for a time with the State Capitol Police doing security in the downtown Raleigh area.

"It's just a blessing to be here, because most officers have prior officer experience before getting hired here, so I'm not taking one second for granted," said Barnes. "I will prove myself and that I deserve to be here.

Born and raised in Rocky Mount, Barnes explained he doesn't come from a family of police officers, but somehow law enforcement got it in his blood.

"It really started at the age of 17…for some reason I just had this ambition to be an officer," he said. "I also just always had the urge to help people, to protect and to be a role model because I came from a rough area and environment. I want to show the youth there's a lot more than just a street life. You can accomplish so much more in the world only if you just have that guidance."

He credits God, his church and his family with helping him achieve the goal of being an officer. His parents, grandparents and a number of extended family members made sure they attended his special day.

"I lost count, I can't tell you how many people are here!" said Barnes. "It's family from Rocky Mount and Raleigh and they've just really been supportive since day one. They’ve been by my side, praying for me, financially supporting me going through the academy. It's just a blessing to have a family like this that's so supportive."

Barnes says he's looking forward to working with Clayton residents.

"Clayton is good town and a growing town as well," he said. "It's not only a great place to start out but to have a career here. I look forward to being here 30 years from now!"

Welcome Officer Barnes to Clayton if you see him in town - he starts patrol this Friday!