The story of Edwardsville police officer Brian Barker took a darker, sadder turn this week, with new charges of burglary, arson and money laundering filed against him. That’s in addition to the multiple charges of burglary, official misconduct and possession of stolen firearms he already is facing.
As if that’s not bad enough, Barker is accused of committing some of the crimes while on duty and in uniform. He was hired to protect and serve the community, but instead he allegedly used his badge to help commit and conceal crimes.
It’s a sad story not just for him, but also for his fellow officers and the public. Guys like Barker tarnish all police officers and contribute to public mistrust of law enforcement. It’s important to remember that the vast majority of police officers do their jobs fairly and honestly.
It’s impossible to screen out every bad apple. The best way to restore public confidence in a case like this is for the allegations to be investigated thoroughly then prosecuted vigorously. That’s exactly what is happening in Madison County.