Sheriff Brian C. Hill announces with great sadness and a heavy heart that retired Shawnee County Sheriff, Richard W. “Dick” Barta, passed away peacefully last night at his home, with family by his side.
Sheriff Barta enjoyed a 29 year long career with the Kansas Highway Patrol and retired at the rank of Major in 1997. Following his retirement, he worked as an enforcement officer with the
Kansas Lottery Commission Security Division until 2000. In March of 2000, Sheriff Barta was selected as the Shawnee County Sheriff by the Republican Precinct Committee and appointed
by Governor Graves. Sheriff Barta was elected Sheriff in November of 2000, 2004 and 2008.
During Sheriff Barta’s tenure at the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office, he became the first Sheriff in Kansas to receive national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Law
Enforcement Agencies. Sheriff Barta provided the hardworking men and women of the Sheriff’s Office with the best equipment in law enforcement such as vehicles, in-car camera systems, body
worn cameras, mobile computers, upgraded firearms, tasers and more. These enhancements and upgrades tremendously improved officer safety for the men and women of the agency.
Sheriff Barta improved the victim/witness assistance program and community policing policies. He was the first to place deputies in schools as school resources officers. A major focus for Sheriff
Barta was the youth in the community. He was a strong supporter of the Sheriff’s Office youth programs that included the school resource officer program, D.A.R.E. program and the summer
youth academies. In 2002, Sheriff Barta paved the way for future Sheriff’s Office administrators by being the first Shawnee County Sheriff to attend the Federal Bureau of Investigation National
In 2008, Sheriff Barta acquired the Shawnee County Emergency Communication Center ultimately streamlining dispatching services for all first responders which made citizens and officers much safer. In 2010, Sheriff Barta built the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office Training Complex. The Richard W. Barta Training Complex remains a state-of-the-art facility and to this day continues to be a regional training site for Kansas law enforcement officers.
In 2012, Sheriff Barta retired to enjoy time with his wife, children and grandchildren.