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Posted on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Former Ann Arbor Police Chief Barnett Jones gets top police job in Flint

By Cindy Heflin

Former Ann Arbor Police Chief Barnett Jones has been appointed public safety administrator for the city of Flint, MLive reported.

Jones, who retired from the Ann Arbor force on April 1, will make $135,000 with limited benefits, according to the report. He made $126,500 in Ann Arbor and is eligible for a pension from the city.

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Barnett Jones

Jones’ departure from Ann Arbor came after he had been pressured in recent city budget cycles to make deep cuts to the police department. He expressed frustration about that and repeatedly told City Council members he couldn't afford to lose any more police officers.

Jones, who has been in law enforcement for more than 37 years, came to Ann Arbor as chief of police in 2006 after serving as police chief in Sterling Heights.

He began his law enforcement career as a Wayne County sheriff's deputy and also worked for the Inkster Police Department and Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

Jones earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a master's degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Jones was appointed by Flint's emergency manager. As the city's top public safety official, he will oversee the police and fire departments.


Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

In regard to the question about his pension from Ann Arbor, here's what we had in a previous story: "Jones, who is in his late 50s, makes $126,500 per year as chief. City officials said Jones is eligible for a pension under city policies that allow firefighters and police officers to collect at age 55 with five or more years of service. It's expected that his pension will be calculated based on the average of his three highest-paid consecutive years multiplied by his total years of service and a 2.75 percent multiplier. A rough calculation shows that could be more than $20,000 a year."

Kai Petainen

Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

At first... I was annoyed... as I thought he was dishonest. In that, he left the job as he was retiring. At least, that's the impression that I got. But upon further review, it seems like he left the job, as "He expressed frustration about that and repeatedly told City Council members he couldn't afford to lose any more police" And that, sounds to me, as an honest and straight-forward person with ethics. This idea that he was retiring, sounds just as 'corrupt' as how some top execs will leave a firm for 'family reasons' and the company will cite it as such. So, if city hall says he was 'retiring'... the dishonesty/marketing lies on city hall and not Jones. Congrats to Jones -- may Flint's city hall place a higher priority on safety, than art for favored 'enviro-political' groups.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

The question now - does the Ann Arbor City Council and Mayor get the message spoken loud and clear here?

Dominick Lanza

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

First good luck Barnett Jones shame on those who question his honesty you dont know him very well. Anyone who took the time to research the AA pension system and calculate how much Chief Jones "huge" AA pension would find it is a pension based on six years' service at I believe 2.6% per year credit, that is six years times 2.6 = 15% of his average salary. Let's say his average is $125,000 he earned his last year at AA that means his "HUGE" pension is $19,500 minus withholding and Medicare he might clear $15,000 not so huge not above the poverty level and not a living wage. No wonder he went to another job a man has to eat and feed his family. Chief Jones took longer to tire of the anti-public safety budgets in AA than I did but it finally got to him and the city lost a good Police Chief fortunately for AA Chief Jones shared his knowledge, skill and expertise with John Seto who will be a fine Police Chief if budgets and politics don't chase him away. Why do people think public employees should work for meanial wages and no benefits. How many of the nay sayers would take the job of a police officer or firefighter in AA ? Oh and by the way they live on their pensions they do not collect social security benefits.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

If one could get 19,500 for ever 6 years of work and worked 40 years that would be 130,000 a year....If one could it. So again given the 6 years of service 19,500 is huge

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

"...that means his "HUGE" pension is $19,500 minus withholding and Medicare he might clear $15,000 not so huge not above the poverty level and not a living wage...." But don't forget its based on 6 years of work. Put in that perspective it is huge.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

Hasn't the City increased the vesting period to 10 years for future employees?


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

How many of you have left a job and took 401k money with you, even though you were moving on to a new job that would also provide you with a 401k? Of course the 401k that you left with included money from your previous employer, right? If the career that you have educated yourself for pays $135,000, and you rollover any 401k money paid out along the way you should be able to earn a distribution of $20,000 per year too. Public servants are paid less than the private sector, but have perks like a pension. It just depends what you have decided to do with your life, some careers like police and fire fighters are only available in government.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

The difference salinemom is that my 401k is money that I have contributed out of my wages. Some, but not all, employers provide a few percentage points match to an employees 401k contribution (often with a vesting period). But it is safe to say that the VAST majority of 401k dollars are taken from an employees wages (pre-tax but employee contributions nonetheless). Further when I retire my 401k payout is determined by the amount I contributed and the performance of the investments where my 401k was managed. As a result, my retirement benefits are at risk. In contrast, public employees with pensions contribute far less to their pension than the government does and they have defined benefits (i.e. guaranteed rate of return and payout). Very different than a self-funded 401k. Also the reason that governments are trying to move employees to self-funded 401k plans to save money. So while I have no problem with taking a pension that is earned (no matter how ridiculously structured) no one on this board is going to walk away from money that is offered. Please do not try to compare a 401k to a pension. They are completely different retirement options.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

Jones quit in AA after being continually told by the Mayor and City Council to cut the Police below safe staffing levels -- something he did not and could not support. What is so wrong about that? I think most citizens feel the same way!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

Best wishes to ex-chief Jones. But on the other hand, sadly, now AA tax donors will need to hork up $50-75k to some headhunting firm to fill Jones' spot. Another short-term but high-pay & pension hire must be found at great expense from that nomadic pool of professional bureaucrats most likely. When was the last time a city cop worked his way up the ladder to become the chief? This goes for all the other city departments too and the BoE too. Fresh blood is a good thing but when you need continual transfusions to make due there something wrong.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Everyone needs to quit complaining.....if it bothers you so much, become a police chief or work in an occupation that provides the same pension....Good luck Chief Jones, you are a good man.....

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

flawed argument. The only place that pays remotely like that is Government jobs. Everybody can't work for the Government. And since he is retiring from Government which is funded by tax payer's, tax payer's have every right to voice discontent with how their/our money is spent.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

So he worked here for 6 his pension "pro-rated" and only payable based on his term? Or is it a full pension even if he works somewhere else while collecting it?

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

according to an earlier story his pension could be in the range of 20,000 a year. Not bad for 6 years work.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

It is based upon the years he worked here. It may be 2.75% (of his salary) x the number of years he worked in Ann Arbor. .


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

get job with county, secure pension, serve time in public office, secure pension, get job with another municpality, secure pension...


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

WOW..he has his work cut out for him..tough job, tough times in Flint. Wish him well.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

I'm still not getting this "work for five or six years and retiring with huge pensions and benefits" -- a while back the city administrator and now the police chief. Something is definitely not right here.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.

So will he be dumping homeless people here again?


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Yeah, but they will be from Flint, heading snowbirds.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.



Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

Another bird flies out of the cukoo's anyone with half a brain OZ is poster child for Golden parachute LLC ...the taxpayers be dammned..just wait till prince john and his merry band are given their walking papers.....which won't come soon enough...


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 11:11 a.m.

Cryin all the way to the bank and now he's laughing all the way to the bank.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 4:54 a.m.

Still waiting for that "hater" button to be added. Hi Cash and JCJ. Lol

Jay Thomas

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

You can thank unions for this nonsense. They think it's fantastic and well earned!

Just Sayin

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 4:38 a.m.

I've never heard of a union for police administrators. I have been in law enforcement for 21 years.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 3:46 a.m.

Unions? Uh, no. Unions don't hire the police chief. Instead, you can thank MANAGEMENT for this!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 3:27 a.m.

Don't blame the unions! My Union does not allow me to draw my pension and then work in the same field. Blame those that give into this nonsense!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.

Between the City and the University, Ann Arbor has been a police chiefs' dream the past couple years. They've shuttled in and out, some of them working literally months on end before retiring with six figure public pensions. All have been apparently very well qualified, with some scoring at genius level in entitlement.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

Kinsey for police chief! Lock it up!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

This is guy by his actions shows he is a quitter and money grubber. What I really want to call him starts with a "w" and ends in "e". I say good riddance. We need to get back to grooming and hiring our city department heads from within. The track record of hiring outsiders is abysmal.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

No, I just outlined a pattern of departures by Multiple men with high performance, high morals, and lengthy service in trying to work with a corrupt Mayor and Council who kept demanding deeper and deeper cuts to public safety budgets, while funding ludicrous art programs and other rididulous initiatives. At the the end, they could no longer support this Administration.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

Sparty You just defined a quitter!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

He quit in AA after being continually told by the Mayor and City Council to cut the Police below safe staffing levels -- something he did not and could not support. What is so wrong about that? I think most citizens feel the same way!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

@razor...not sure of the quality or quantity of talent available within currently but hiring from outside has ended in failure more often than not.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 11:12 a.m.

Hire from within......not a good current decision with the AAFD!!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

Good Luck to Chief Jones.....he's going to need it in Flint! There is some major "heavy lifting" going on it that town (as he used to say)!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

He won't be there long enough to worry about.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

The only direction to go is up (as opposed to A2 where trends are pointing negative).


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

This city of fools needs to QUIT offering so much when they hire someone. Does anyone think we would not have plenty of prospects even without the big paydays? Think Again. If we have to mortgage the city to get someone maybe we don't have as much to offer in the first place.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

It is the way the educated fools in this town work. 1st hire a consultant to tell us who to hire from another part of the country. Then offer them the moon BEFORE they are even interviewed. Pay them a higher than normal salary. Then give them a bonus when they leave after five years. Then hire another consultant to find a replacement. And the tax payer KEEPS getting the shaft! In my trade to qualify for my pension I cannot take another job in the same field.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 11:39 p.m.

First of all, the article says he will receive "limited benefits," and nowhere does it say he will get a pension from Flint, so all this hysterical ranting about him getting another pension is a little premature. Second, I don't believe anyone should get a defined benefit pension, public or otherwise, after only 5, or even 10, years of work, but blaming the person who qualifies for it instead of the idiots who offered it, and the idiots who continually vote for them, is pathetic. Way to let yourselves off the hook. Also, if Job A offers a pension, then whoever gets Job A will collect it if he or she meets the requirements. What difference does it make if the person who gets it already has a pension from someplace else? Zero difference. It's going to be paid anyway, regardless. All this vitriol is seriously misdirected. What's stopping any of you who are so self-righteously outraged from applying and doing the job yourselves? Have at it. The more important question is why a bankrupt city who is refusing to meet obligations to current staff is adding another, $135K layer of debt. That's the question. Flint is getting ready to lay off more police officers and more firefighters, but they have the money for to hire Mr. Jones to oversee the existing police an fire chiefs, both of whom are retaining their jobs? That's what's disgusting here.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

Somebody call Michael Moore...LOL..he lives in the garden belt near Traverse City enjoying his millions..he could care less about Flint.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

Not just a bankrupted city, but The City with the highest murder rates in the Country. This is a man who cut police and fire in Ann Arbor-a town with significantly different crime situation. This is shameful. Oh and did I read that correctly that he'll be making a higher salary in Flint? Somebody call Michael Moore.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

Double dipping state pension at the tax payers expense at it's best. This is criminal, to say the least!!!!! And - he's in law enforcement??? I guess he found a way to skin the tax payer and stay out of jail. Our state legislators need to close this 'loop hole' of being able to double dip!!!!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

Why? It is available in private compensation plans and has been for decades. Shouldn't a reward for long term service be incentivized? How is it it skinning the tax payer - it's part of his compensation package?

Just Sayin

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

And just think, "overpaid" State of Michigan employees haven't had a pension since 1997.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

Yes, while people take potshots at State workers and teachers, those at the top are ripping taxpayers off all the time! And no one even speaks of it. Fraser and Jones made quite a deal.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

So I'm guessing he will get FIVE PUBLIC PENSIONS.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

I posted this very thing when he gave his notice....he and Fraser thick as thieves....they were going to place him in a city with an EFM and thus he'd get a higher salary and yet more public pensions. No one seemed to believe me. Those tears as he solemnly walked away....what a laugh...taxpayers duped again.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

This is disgusting! Now he will accrue another pension in 5 years or whatever! There should be some sort of limit on how many pensions people can "earn" in 5 years, or employers should be smart enough to see what the applicant's game is. Ann Arbor Council should be feeling really flim-flammed at this point, but they probably don't. Just so proud of our former police chief!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

Actually, he is eligible for 3 pensions currently. The new job comes with limited benefits and no pension. More reading and more thinking prior to posting seems warranted.