At its Jan. 29 meeting, members of the Noblesville Common Council presented its annual Stake in the Ground Award, which recognizes city employees who go above and beyond their jobs. Each member of the council makes a nomination, and then all members vote on the award.
Noblesville Police Dept. Lt. Bruce Barnes is the recipient of the 2018 award. He is the public information officer for NPD who addressed media during and throughout the investigation of the May 25, 2018 Noblesville West Middle School shooting.
“Bruce was the public face speaking on this incident,” NPD Police Chief Kevin Jowitt said. “Bruce did an extraordinary job doing what he did, particularly because he had a son at the school and didn’t know his status until later in the day. Bruce went far beyond what anyone could expect in that situation. He does a fantastic job and we are lucky to have him.”
Councilor Mark Boice said Barnes does an exceptional job of portraying Noblesville well on a national level through many trying situations.
“During the May 25 school incident, Mayor John Ditslear, Chief Jowitt and (Indiana) State Police (Supt. Doug Carter) trusted Bruce, and he provided the national media very precise information without compromising the integrity of the case,” Boice said. “In every situation that he has provided information to the public and media, he has done so in a manner that portrays Noblesville as professional and in the best way possible.”
During his career, Barnes has served NPD in a variety of capacities, including shift supervisor, shift commander, SWAT team commander and honor guard commander. He also has been in charge of recruiting for more than 10 years and created the NPD crime watch program. He also created and still operates the NPD Citizens Academy. He began working for Noblesville in November 1993.
“I am very honored and humbled,” Barnes said. “It is hard to accept this award without saying that so many people did their job that day. Chief Jowitt and Major Scott Kirby set the standard, and it blossomed from there. We don’t rise to the occasion, we are prepared. That’s why it was a success. I wanted Noblesville residents and parents to know we’re here. Your kids may not be with you, but trust they are in good hands – our hands or Noblesville Schools. We wanted parents to have confidence in us.”