Jacksonville, FL – Camden County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Kevin Barber passed away on Oct. 13, following a “valiant fight against cancer,” his department said.
“When the community learned of his illness, support and donations began coming in for his care,” the Camden County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post read. “The citizens, and members of public safety volunteered to help in any way they could.”
“People that Kevin arrested came by the Sheriff's Office these past few weeks. They said they were sorry Kevin…was sick. They also asked if there was anything they could do for him,” the department said.
“Major Chuck Byerly said it best, ‘Kevin made [a lot] of arrests for drug possession, but he turned many people's lives around because of his caring attitude.’”
Sgt. Barber, 44, served the Camden County Sheriff’s Office for three years before he went to work for the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office for another three years, according to his obituary.
In 2000, he went back to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, where he served as a K9 handler and drug investigator for the remainder of his law enforcement career, the department said.
In 2003, he was named as Camden County’s Officer of the Year, according to his obituary.
“We are heartbroken to announce that we lost the lead K-9 handler, Sgt. Kevin Barber this morning after he fought a tough battle against cancer,” the Camden County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit said in a Facebook post, along with a video a friend compiled showing highlights from his career.
“Please keep Kevin's family in your thoughts and prayers,” the unit wrote.
Sgt. Barber’s family described him as a man with an “amazing heart” and a “thirst for life,” according to his obituary.
“Kevin influenced many children and was like a father figure to them,” his obituary read. “He was full of love and laughs with tons of jokes and pranks up his sleeve. He will so sadly be missed and loved.”
Sgt. Barber leaves behind his fiancé, Julie Browning, and his seven children, as well as his mother, brother, and many friends and extended family members.
He was laid to rest on Thursday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Camden County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Kevin Barber, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.
You can watch the memorial tribute posted by the Camden County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit in the video below: