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Chief of Police

MARK G. BARNARD, Chief of PoliceChief Barnard Ceremony

Monday, January 12, 2015 Mayor Jim Gray conducts the swearing-in ceremony for Mark G. Barnard, Lexington's Chief of Police. (Photo) 

Throughout his nearly three decade career Barnard had distinguished himself as a respected leader, skilled problem solver, and compassionate public servant.

Prior to becoming chief, Chief Barnard served in nearly every major section of the police department. Each assignment enhanced his professional knowledge and administrative experience, and officers in each section benefitted from his sound guidance and significant expertise. In addition to his varied management and leadership roles within the agency, Chief Barnard also had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of civic organizations and on several major community projects.

Chief Barnard is dedicated to enhancing the ongoing commitment to quality community policing and will work tirelessly to ensure that the citizens of Lexington, as well as visitors to Fayette County, continue to enjoy a safe community in which to live, work and play. He realizes that citizens expect and deserve their police officers to possess the utmost integrity, to be adaptable to evolving challenges, and to be committed to delivering exemplary public service to all members of the community. Chief Barnard will strive to consistently meet these expectations, as well as to advance the development of formal and informal leadership skills and heighten professionalism throughout the organization.

Chief Barnard is a proud alumnus of Eastern Kentucky University. He earned a Master’s degree in 2008 and a Bachelor’s degree in 1986. Chief Barnard has maintained a professional affiliation with EKU, sharing his knowledge with future members of the criminal justice profession as an adjunct professor at EKU’s College of Justice and Safety. Chief Barnard was honored by his alma mater in 2014 by being presented with the Eastern Kentucky University College of Justice and Safety Distinguished Alumnus award.

Chief Barnard has been married to his wife, Gaye, for 26 years. Gaye and he are also the proud parents of two talented daughters, both of whom are currently attending college. Chief Barnard enjoys volunteering with various youth programs throughout the community.


The value of leadership within the agency is underscored by providing an organizational climate that encourages learning opportunities for our employees.

Customer Service
Effective customer service is reflected in the positive manner in which we address community needs. We focus on exemplary service, which enhances the quality of life for citizens and visitors.

Employee Satisfaction
The emphasis on maintaining a quality work environment for our employees encourages the delivery of quality service to the citizens of Lexington.

The utilization of technology, human resources, diverse groups, and individuals increases the efficiency of the department to respond to the dynamic needs of the community. 

Community Partnerships
The department encourages community partnerships via outreach. This creates positive relationships and opportunities to benefit the community.

To send a message to the Chief, click here.
Note: Open record requests can not be accepted through e-mail.


Lexington, the county seat of Fayette County, lies in the bluegrass region of Kentucky. It is noted for the breeding and sale of Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses, a major burley tobacco market, and diversified manufacturing. Lexington is home to the University of Kentucky, famous for the UK Wildcats. Transylvania University, the oldest college west of the Allegheny Mountains, is also located here.

When Lexington was incorporated as a town on December 7, 1831, it was given certain police powers by the Acts of the General Assembly. The first policemen were called watchmen. Since that time Lexington has maintained a police force. (Photo: 1890's Police Force)

Chief 2As Lexington has grown and changed, so has it's law enforcement agency. In 1974, Lexington and Fayette County merged their governments, making it the one of two Urban County Governments in the state and Kentucky's second largest city. Merger resulted in the development of the present day Lexington Division of Police.

The police department currently has authorized 570 sworn personnel and more than 150 civilian personnel to serve a population of approximately 270,000. Well over 550 vehicles are included in the fleet to patrol the 284 square miles of jurisdiction. The majority of these vehicles are a part of the Home Fleet Plan which gives officers take-home privilege. The budget for the department is now in excess of 49 million dollars annually. The agency has benefited from many equipment improvements and enhancements such as a Mobile Crime Lab, Mobile Command Post, and the Enhanced 911 phone system. Officers and detectives now use computers to process information and can expedite information more efficiently. In recent years, the sector system was implemented to enhance the quality and responsiveness of police services throughout the community.

The department continues to enjoy a great deal of support from the community and our elected officials. The excellent work the police officers are doing every day speaks for itself. Crime is down, and the level of police service is at an all-time high. The Lexington Police Department is an organization of well-trained, dedicated and disciplined men and women who work together to make Lexington truly the "Heart of the Bluegrass".

Last updated: 5/20/2015 8:51:42 AM