Hardin City accepts new police chief

Niklas Means
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Hardin City Accepts New Police Chief
Brunswick News photo, May 2020
Donald Babbin has been hired as the City of Hardin police chief. Babbin managed K9 units while working for the Brunswick (GA) Police Department.

Hardin has chosen its new Police Chief, Donald Babbin, the question now is how to implement the new police force.

Babbin has 20 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, and last served as a Lieutenant Commander for multiple divisions at the Brunswick Police Department in Brunswick, Georgia. In his cover letter to the City of Hardin Police Commission, Babbin said he is a strong advocate for community policing, which he said he implemented within the Brunswick Police Department.

Babbin promises to bring with him his experience, integrity, leadership, and talents to the position of Hardin Police Department’s Police Chief.

The Hardin City Council decided in February 2020 to not to renew their interlocal law enforcement agreement with the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, and in a meeting on Monday the city’s Law Enforcement Committee decided not to further renew or temporarily extend the agreement.

Members of the city’s Law Enforcement Committee expressed dissatisfaction with the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office, saying they felt as though the sheriff’s office wasn’t enforcing city laws as strongly as they had been in the past. The number of city court cases dropped over time, and city aldermen said they felt that they were not getting the services they were paying for.

The city of Hardin’s agreement with Big Horn county cost just under $500,000 a year, $470,000 for the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office to be authorized to enforce city ordinances and $20,000 to house city inmates.

The Big Horn County Sheriff's Office still has jurisdiction over Hardin and the rest of Big Horn County, and will continue to enforce state law and pursue investigations. At this point in the discussion, the city and the county need to work out how each of their branches will operate once the city police department is active. It is unknown at this time if the city will be using the county jail to hold inmates, and if so, what the costs will be.