The Highland County Press
Highland County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Donnie Barrera has resigned his position as sergeant to pursue the position of Highland County sheriff. He turned in his notice on Monday, Jan. 6.
Late last year, Barrera was the recipient of the Ohio Attorney General's Office Distinguished Law Enforcement Community Service Award in October for his service in the Highland County Society for Children and Adults, VFW, Eagles, Rotary Club and Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, among other organizations, said the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
"On and off the job, he is seen as an individual who is quick to volunteer, offer an encouraging word and treat others with respect," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. "In addition to his primary nominator, 13 individuals wrote letters of nomination or support for Sergeant Barrera."
Barrera is a lifelong resident of Highland County. He is married to Jacquie Barrera, and together they have three children and four grandchildren.
His campaign manager is Highland County Commissioner Tom Horst. Monty Rayburn is serving as treasurer for the campaign.
Barrera graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1978 and attended Capital University, where he played football while pursuing academics. In 1992, he graduated from the Brown County Police Academy in Georgetown.
Barrera is the son of the late Eddie Barrera and Carol Barrera. The Barrera family ran a successful business for over 50 years, buying and selling eggs throughout Highland County, as well as building and running a convenience store/gas station in New Market.
"It has been my life's goal to serve the community through law enforcement and to serve the people of Highland County as the next Highland County sheriff," Barrera said.
Barrera began his career with the Highland County Sheriff's Office in 1993 as a road patrol deputy. In 1999, he was promoted to road sergeant of the patrol division.
"I have devoted over 20 years to the community and to the citizens of Highland County, with great pleasure," Barrera said. "I have established relationships with countless individuals of all walks of life along the way."
Among Barrera's career accomplishments are: Ohio Distinguished Law Enforcement Community Service Award by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, 2013; Highland County OVI Award, 2001; Distinguished Service Award from the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association, 1998; Lifesaving Recognition Award from Division of Parks and Recreation, 1998; and Highland County Sheriff's Office Deputy of the Year Award, 1996.
In 20-plus years as a deputy sheriff for Highland County, Barrera has served as "acting sheriff" during the absence of both the sheriff and chief deputy and has been a guiding force as lead officer on many cases throughout his career.
"I am both familiar with the requirements of leadership and the decisive actions needed to successfully direct such operations," Barrera said.
Barrera has served as officer in charge of the traffic crash division, overseeing crash reports distributed to state authorities and developing the traffic crash reporting system training program.
Barrera has also worked as an Ohio Peace Officer Training Council instructor, gaining expertise in field sobriety testing and OVI enforcement, and as a Police Training Academy and Taser instructor. Barrera has obtained more than 1,000 hours of law enforcement and management training since 1992.