Savannah State University looks for new police chief

James Barnwell, recently accused of sexual harassment and assault of some female officers in his department, is no longer Savannah State University’s police chief.

Savannah State officials would not discuss the terms of his departure, saying it’s a personnel matter. The university has named an interim chief, Ulysses Bryant. Barnwell’s departure was reported Thursday in Savannah media outlets.

Three women filed complaints in April with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Barnwell. The University System of Georgia this week found Barnwell violated its sexual harassment policy, the two attorneys who filed the EEOC complaints told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday. 

Barnwell began his law enforcement career with Savannah’s police department in July 1983 and retired as a major in February 2016, according to the report. His 12-month salary was $89,000 during fiscal year 2017, state records show.

Efforts to reach Barnwell were unsuccessful Friday.

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