Aiken Public Safety Chief Back To Work After 3-Day Suspension

Photo of Chief Charles Barranco, ofthe Aiken Department of Public Safety, who has been suspended for 3 days.
Photo of Chief Charles Barranco, ofthe Aiken Department of Public Safety, who has been suspended for 3 days.

***UPDATED at 6:33 P.M. on Friday, August 14th***

Aiken, SC — Aiken Department of Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco’s suspension came after a mix-up a few weeks ago. Apparently, a local family reported their daughter missing only to find out she was in jail.

“We’re going to make mistakes, but we need to own up to them and we need to recognize them,” Aiken’s City Manager, John C. Klimm, told us.

The mix-up happened in late July.

“Relative to the way in which we handle missing persons complaints,” Klimm added.

Chief Barranco was suspended for three days without pay. Klimm told us the suspension came about because a missing woman was arrested July 24th and put in jail.

We got our hands on a police report from that day. An officer was called to the Kroger on Whiskey Road for shoplifting, around 3:00 p.m. When he arrived, an employee told him 33-year-old Dustin Brickman stole $40 worth of lipsticks from the cosmetics section. The report states, when the woman was confronted…she tried to get away…damaging the sliding door on the way out.

“When we, in the first instance, transport someone to jail, somehow the person doesn’t fall through the cracks,” Klimm said.

What police didn’t know was Brickman’s mother called police, also, that Friday and reported her missing around 10:00 p.m. at night. Brickman’s mother says her daughter left to get food around 2:30 p.m. that day, and she was concerned because of a disability that causes her to lose her memory. The report states that Brickman was declared a missing person.

Klimm told us the city looked for Brickman, as the parents worried for a day. He says the daughter’s father found her on the jail website. “If there’s a missing person’s complaint filed, we need to have the ability to immediately recall the information, so there isn’t a period of time where people are wondering what happened to the person,” he told us.

Chief Barranco issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

“As the Chief of Aiken Public Safety, I have the privilege of leading 135 dedicated public servants who serve our great city and answer some 40,000 calls for service per year.  With that privilege, comes great responsibility and I am responsible for every single decision made by this department. One of the core tenets of leadership is to give credit, yet accept responsibility, and the buck will always stop with me.”

Chief Barranco was back at work Friday. He declined to speak on camera about the suspension.

Aiken, SC – WJBF News Channel 6 has learned that Charles Barranco, who is the chief of the Aiken Department of Public Safety has been suspended for 3 days.

We have learned that the suspension comes after it was determined that the department had a woman in custody who had been reported missing.

Barranco was suspended due to an alleged failure to cross reference the arrest and missing person’s report. City Manager John C. Klimm tells us that Chief Barranco was suspended for 3 days without pay due to not following missing persons policy.

Our Renetta DuBose has been following this story and she will have more on the suspension during our Friday evening newscasts.

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