In October 2017, the St. Matthews City Council named Major Barry Wilkerson chief of the St. Matthews Police Department (SMPD). He succeeded Major David Beyer, the acting chief appointed in August 2017 following the retirement of Norm Mayer, who had served as chief since 1988.
Wilkerson is a law enforcement executive with over 27 years of overall experience and 20 years as a commander. As chief of SMPD, he oversees a department with an annual budget of $6 million and a staff of 40 sworn members serving approximately 17,500 residents.
Wilkerson retired in 2016 after 27 years with the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and the former Jefferson County Police Department (JCPD). Since retiring from LMPD, he has worked as director of security at Saint Xavier High School.
Wilkerson started his law enforcement career in 1989 with the former JCPD. He was assigned to Charlie District as a patrol officer and transferred to the Southfields Training Academy as an instructor. Beginning in 1992, Wilkerson served on the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team for 15 years (1992–2007) and commanded the team for six years. He was promoted to sergeant in 1997 and returned to patrol in Charlie District. In January 1999, he was tasked with the creation of the Volunteer Services Unit.
After being promoted to lieutenant in December 1999, Wilkerson commanded the Fleet Services Unit, the Basic Recruit Academy, the Recruitment and Hiring Unit, and the Field Training Program at the Southfields Training Academy. He also commanded the Economic Crimes and Technical Support Unit (2004–2007) and the LMPD Homicide Unit (2007–2013). After being promoted to major in 2013, he commanded the Eighth Division (2013–2016).
Major Wilkerson is a graduate of the University of Louisville and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Police Administration. He is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy.
Major Wilkerson is married and has three children and three grandchildren.