Chief Eric Barden was born and raised locally and is a proud graduate of Zion Central Jr. High and Zion Benton Township High School.
He has diligently served the community with the Zion Police Department since 2002, during which time he’s worked within each division and facet of the police department. He committed to the difficult, but rewarding calling as a police officer when he was just 21 years old and started as a patrol officer in the patrol division.
After gaining invaluable experience as a patrol officer, he was selected to the criminal investigations division where he held a lengthy position as Detective. He was promoted in May of 2015 to the rank of Sergeant and worked the midnight shift supervising a patrol shift. His earned experience and forward thinking allowed him to be promoted to Lieutenant in August 2019 where he was assigned to command the criminal investigations division.
During this time, Chief Barden attended and graduated Northwestern’s Police Staff and Command course for Law Enforcement executives and overall gained insights into the needs of the City of Zion and overall departmental operations.
In February 2021 he was promoted and appointed to the rank of Chief of Police by Mayor Billy McKinney. Since that appointment Chief Barden has been nominated and voted in by his peers to the Advisory Board of Directors for the Northeast Multi-Regional Training unit (NEMRT) as well as the Board for the Lake County Chief’s of Police Association.
He continues to work ceaselessly for the citizens of Zion and the members of the Zion Police Department to enhance officers abilities to serve the community to provide the citizens with the quality service that they deserve.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Chief of Police and for your interest in the Zion Police Department.
Chief of Police