Harrington gets a new police chief and city manager

Harrington gets a new police chief and city manager
Chief Earl Brode was sworn in Monday night at the Harrington Council meeting. Photo courtesy of Harrington Fire Department

Former Harrington police Chief Norman Barlow retired in January, but he was still serving as acting city manager. Now, he’ll be stepping into the role full time after City Council approved his hiring Monday night.

At the same time, the Council swore in a new police chief: Longtime city officer (and fire department member) Earl K. Brode.

Barlow had been acting manager since Daniel Tartt left the position in October. He retired after 28 years with the force.

Brode is a lifelong Harrington resident and graduate of Lake Forest High School. He's been an active member of the fire department since 1996, where he currently serves as deputy fire chief, he said in an email.

He said his goal is to build community relationships and keep building off past administrations, mentioning school resource officer and community policing programs started by Barlow.

"The Harrington Police Department has a group of very dedicated officers to this community. Sometimes people think that police are only around when things are bad. We want the community to know that we want to keep building on the relationships within our community and be a positive influence in our community and schools," he wrote.

Monday night, not one but two state senators named Dave, Sens. Lawson and Wilson, were on hand to present tributes to Barlow for his service, along with state Rep. Shannon Morris.

The venue was moved from city hall to the Price Center across the street to accommodate the larger crowd. Barlow said later it was surprising to get commendations from the officials, and he thanked them for their kind words.

Harrington Mayor Duane Bivans pointed to the long experience both men have in the city and it's workings, saying because of what they've given to the town and how they feel about the community, the city will be able to grow with people who share a similar vision.

Barlow is the third city manager in a two-year span. Tartt took over as city manager in May 2020 after Harrington fired Don Williams. Tartt then stepped down in October 2021 to take another job.

City manager is somewhat of a familiar role for Barlow, who has several times served as acting city manager during a time of transition. He bridged the gap in 2011 for a few months when John Schatzschneider resigned over personal differences with Council members, the News Journal reported. Teresa Tieman was then hired to fill the role.

Barlow also served as acting manager between Williams and Tartt. Still, he said the new position is a change of pace after serving as chief.

He said he doesn't want to rehash the recent past in Harrington city government, and his goal is to move the city in a positive direction.

Barlow started his career in Harrington as an employee of public works in 1991, the police department said. He then became an officer, and eventually chief in 2009.  

Bivans said with his experience, he would be able to "hit the floor running."

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