June 2, 2005
He's known for heading up countless numbers of crime scene investigations in Charlottesville, and after serving 27 years on the force, this hardened investigator is turning in his gun and badge.
It was a bittersweet day for Sergeant Ralph Barfield, head of Charlottesville's CSI unit, one of the top five in the country. "We gave the citizens of Charlottesville the best possible forensics we could for what we could afford," said Sgt. Barfield.
Today was bitter in that he was leaving the pals he'd worked hand in hand with for years, sweet in that he's opening a window to other opportunities, but he'll always miss his first love.
"Forensics and crime scene work is special, it's about puzzles, figuring out how they did it and then who did it," said retiring Sgt. Ralph Barfield.
Today dozens of his fellow officers gathered at City Hall for his retirement ceremony. It came complete with past photos, food, and a slew of plaques honoring his dedication. A dedication that lead him to crack countless numbers of forensic cases, many of which made headlines.
"He will be greatly missed, but he's left behind a great legacy and he's left behind a vision that I intend to help see be carried out in this organization," said Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.
Carrying on that legacy is Sgt. Steve Dillon, who will fill Barfield's position and help train the next generation of forensic investigators. It's a job he says already has a solid foundation thanks to Barfield, but if Barfield thinks his puzzle-solving is over, well, think again.
"He just lives down the street from me, so I'll be banging on his door if I need anything, probably to excess," said Sgt. Dillon.
Sgt. Barfield's dedication to forensics has helped the city capture and convict many criminals, most notably, rapist Monteret Davis whose DNA was retrieved from a beer can, and Leroy Spinner, who killed his wife and disposed of her body in a wooded area in Albemarle County.