Deputy Chief Wanna Barker-Wright

Deputy Chief Wanna Barker-Wright

Deputy Chief Wanna Barker-Wright has been employed with the Columbus Police Department since April 30, 1977. As a member of the Columbus Police Department, she has served in the Patrol Division, the Robbery and Homicide Division, the Gang Task Force, Juvenile Services and Administrative Service Division.

Deputy Chief Barker-Wright has a Master of Elementary Education degree, a Master of Public Administration degree, and a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree. She has attended GA Law Enforcement Command College through Columbus State University and she is a graduate of Total Quality Management (TQM) Leadership Class sponsored by the Columbus Consolidated Government. She is one of the Founders of Rho Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Bureau of Administrative Services

The Bureau of Administrative Services manages the major administrative organizational functions and specialized programs in the Department. These range from training to senior citizens programs.

Training Division

The Training Division provides a variety of training, testing and certification services for department members. Most of this training is provided in-house, including in-service, recruit, field training officer, firearms and much more. Outside training and certification services are also coordinated through this unit.

Personnel Division

Due to the large number of employees and the special employment eligibility requirements, the Department maintains its own Personnel Unit that is responsible for several essential functions including payroll management, police recruitment and pre-employment processing.

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Crime Prevention

The Crime Prevention Unit is responsible for educational, informational and various community service programs for the pro-active purpose of preventing and reducing opportunities for criminal behavior.

Polygraph Unit

The Polygraph Unit conducts polygraph tests for the Department as well as other federal, state and local agencies upon request. Departmental tests usually relate to criminal or administrative issues ("specific issue" investigations) and pre-employment background processing.

Pastor's Police Academy

The Pastor's Police Academy is designed to provide faith-based leaders with an understanding about various police functions. The academy also provides an opportunity for participants to interact with the department's officers, command staff and participate in ride alongs. Participants learn about topics such as Recruitment, Crime Prevention, Investigative and Patrol functions, Support Services, Crime Analysis, and the Office of Professional Standards.


D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a popular and effective program directed at children who have yet to have their first alcohol or drug experience. The officers assigned to this unit coordinate with the Muscogee County School District and participate in a 10-week curriculum with each 5th grade class in the elementary schools in Columbus.


Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) is an evidence-based and effective gang and violence prevention program built around school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curricula. The Program is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership for children in the years immediately before the prime ages for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior.

Partners in Education

In cooperation with the Muscogee County School District, the Department adopted Forrest Road Elementary School as part of their Partners In Education program. Over the years, we have played an active role in many of their major activities by sharing time and talent in a mutually beneficial interaction enjoyed by both organizations.

Crime Stoppers

The Crime Stoppers/Gun Stoppers program provides the citizens of Columbus with means of providing the Department with anonymous crime information. Citizens may call Crime Stoppers at 653-3188 with any information about any criminal information in Columbus, Phenix City (Alabama) or Ft. Benning.


The S.A.L.T. Program (Seniors And Lawmen Together) is a coalition of resources and commitments between law enforcement and senior citizens. The results of these efforts include the Senior Volunteer Program, Senior Awareness Classes, the Task Force for Senior Problems and other projects.

Senior Volunteer Program

The Senior Volunteer Program is designed to take advantage of the talents of many senior citizens within the community who have retired from other careers. These citizens are willing and able to assist the Columbus Police Department by performing many needed tasks and functions.

Handicapped Parking Enforcement

Under the Handicapped Parking Enforcement program, volunteers are trained and authorized to enforce the Handicapped Parking ordinance in Muscogee County. This program has proved effective in citing those who abuse handicapped parking privileges.

The Explorers Program

The Boy Scouts of America's Explorers program gives youth from 13 to 18 years of age an opportunity to learn about the various areas of law enforcement. On the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, our Explorers Post meets.

Neighborhood Watch Program

The Columbus Police Department has over 150 Neighborhood Watch Programs. This program is one important way citizens can work together to prevent crimes in their neighborhood. The Crime Prevention Unit instructs the citizens on what to do if they see a suspicious person or activity in the neighborhood.