Matt Barnett returns to law enforcement as Poplarville’s Interim Police Chief

Published 5:51 pm Thursday, December 29, 2022

Matt Barnett began his law enforcement career in 1990 and stuck around for 30 years.


Barnett began at Lamar County on their part-time roster at age 20. From 1990- 2000 he worked as Crime Investigator for the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department. Barnett also worked in the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and as the Wiggins Police Chief for 10 years. He retired from full-time law enforcement in the City of Wiggins in 2020.


Accepting the role of Interim Police Chief in Poplarville was more or less an easy decision for Barnett. Barnett in the past has assisted the Board of Alderman in writing grants and has had many collaborations with soon-to-be-retired Police Chief Daniel Collier.


On top of having established working relationships in Poplarville, Barnett was born and raised in Poplarville MS, and attended Poplarville high school. The resident will be getting an Interim who knows the city.


It’s home, no matter where I live,” said Barnett.

“It’s a temporary thing, I am retired…I just trying to help them out and help them [the Board] find somebody to move this department forward, and help improve the quality of life for citizens here.


Barnett will be appointed as Interim on Jan. 1, 2023, for an estimated three months. During that time, Barnett does not plan on altering the policy Collier already has in place.


“Chief Collier has been operating on a good policy procedure that I’m familiar with…I just want to make sure that the officers are safe, the public is safe, and that we use all the equipment, technology, and tools that we have to do a good job and protect people,” said Barnett.


Barnett’s first course of action will be to have a sit down with all the current officers. With that, he wants to learn what their vision is for the permanent Chief and the City of Poplarville. He believes there will be some important information for the Board of Alderman and the Mayor to keep in consideration in their search.