By Paul Hughes
Southern California Edison Co.
Hours before Glen Barnes was honored by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department San Dimas Boosters as Patrol Reserve Deputy of the Year, a deputy was shot dead in a surprise attack in Hawaiian Gardens.
The heartrending news turned what should have been a celebratory evening into a solemn night for the SCE supervisor of Facilities Mapping and other honorees at the event. Barnes, a 21-year SCE employee, has been a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s department for the last 14 years. He currently holds the rank of sergeant in the reserves.
On June 24 Barnes was celebrated along with other reserves and volunteers during a dinner at the Via Verde Country Club in San Dimas, where he is stationed.
“It was some somber party,” Barnes said. “You come to receive an award and something like this happens.”
Due to the circumstances, in which a newly married career deputy was shot in the head by a suspected gang member and died only four hours earlier, the event took on a somber tone, Barnes said.
“My father raised us to know how wonderful and great this nation is,” said Barnes. “And this is what I want to do to give back to this country for what it’s given me.”
Reserve deputies are subject to the same potential danger as that which led to the senseless killing of the deputy June 24, must past the same stringent physical fitness requirements and successfully complete the police academy. Afterward, they are required to devote a minimum of 20 hours per month to working for the agency. Barnes said he devotes many more hours than that to the job and is often called in when unforeseen emergencies occur.
Compensation for the position is $1 per year.
During the Los Angeles riots in 1992, Barnes patrolled a north Long Beach neighborhood and caught thugs looting area shops. Additionally, he was called upon to provide help and to restore order after the Northridge earthquake in 1994.
SCE allows him to take time off from his job to help out during civil emergencies. Additionally, Barnes works at least two eight hour shifts and attends a four hour meeting each month.
Barnes, who was a fireman during a six year stint in the Air Force, said he does the reserve deputy work out of sense of patriotism and as a tribute to his late father, who survived the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and who later became a LA County sheriff’s reserve deputy.
“[My father] raised us to know how wonderful and great this nation is,” said Barnes. “And this is what I want to do to give back to this country for what it’s given me.”
As a reserve deputy, Barnes has the same law enforcement authority as a regular deputy, carries a gun, a badge and a baton. Because of funding shortfalls, he often patrols alone in the area around San Dimas, including the San Gabriel Mountain and Azusa Canyon regions, as well as other areas of eastern Los Angeles County.
There is no disputing the dangers of law enforcement work. Barnes said he has witnessed the seamier side of life in his years as a reserve deputy. He recalled the 19-year-old purse snatcher he nabbed after a foot chase. After he had the man in custody, he admonished the thief on his inability to outrun a man twice his age.
“You know how he replied to me? ‘That’s what drugs will do to you.’”
Sgt. Larry Wineinger, coordinator of the reserve program for the San Dimas station, said Barnes was singled out for the deputy of the year honor because of his commitment to the department over the years. Barnes, Wineinger said, can be counted on to work special projects and extra hours.
“His commitment to the post is exemplary,” Wineinger said.
As supervisor for facilities mapping at SCE, Barnes oversees a group of employees who diagram the layout of overhead and underground utilities in a given area. Currently, his staff is working on digitizing the maps so that they can be loaded more easily and quickly onto computers.
Charles Coker, SCE manager for Facilities Inventory Mapping, said Barnes is a dedicated and well-respected supervisor. Yet, because he rarely discusses it, one might be surprised to learn about his law enforcement work.
“If you go by his cubicle, it’s obvious that he’s a deputy, but it’s not like he brings that into the office here,” Coker said.
Barnes began his career at SCE in automated drafting. He subsequently spent five years as a surveyor, then seven years in engineering mapping.