Plans to stay in Havre as state parole and probation officer
Annette Hayden Havre Daily News email@example.com
Havre Police Chief Mike Barthel’s last day on the job will be May 31. Mayor Bob Rice announced Barthel’s intent to retire during Monday’s City Council meeting. “Mike Barthel has served us well for 20 years and lived up to the standard of excellence,” Rice told the Council and audience. “The chief and I have become close. We have had some heated exchanges and some really good times. He will be missed and we wish him well in his new position.” Assistant Police Chief George Tate will assume Barthel’s duties on June 1 as acting chief. Rice said it would be “a lengthy process,” however, in determining how a permanent replacement will be handled. “I have opened the position for local city employees to apply,” Rice said. “I also have things I will ponder before making a decision in his replacement. One thing I am considering is that of a safety officer to oversee both the police and fire departments. But I have always stipulated to department heads to train their relief. Mike has done that with three individuals. He has trained his reliefs and is leaving the department in good shape.” Barthel, who was originally from Glendive, has served the department since he was 21. He said Havre was his first choice after graduating from college. “In my first week on the job, I was in a server car crash and almost shot,” Barthel told the Council. “I was in the hospital considering then that maybe the police force was not the job for me. But the chief at the time came to the hospital to see me and he said, Mike, its not like this all the time. Havre is a nice place to live. Just hang in there.’ I did and Havre has been a great place. I thank the City of Havre for giving me a chance at a wonderful career. Havre it’s the people.” On June 4, Barthel will step into his new role as probation and parole officer for the Montana Department of Corrections. “It will be a lot of community service, a blend of law enforcement, social work and counseling,” he said. “I think it will be a good fit.” The state job, located in Havre, also will be a more stable 40-hours per week position, which is beneficial to Barthel’s family, including wife, Sheila, who is coowner of Makin’ Waves Stylin’ Salon, and daughters Janae, 10. Janelle, 13, and Jaleesa, 17. Barthel received a huge round of applause during the council meeting for his service to the community. Havre Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbie Vandeberg said during public comment that Barthel had been a great friend and partner to the community.