Less than a week after his winning his bid to be the next Barton County Sheriff, Brian J. Bellendir has announced his command staff. The changes will take effect in January when Bellendir is sworn into office.
In a statement released Friday morning, Bellendir said he will name Barton County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Bruce Green as his undersheriff. Detective Sgt. Rick Popp will become the department’s lieutenant.
“I am pleased to make these announcements,” the sheriff-elect said. “I have been asked many times in the last several months who I would appoint as undersheriff as well as which officer would fill my position as Lieutenant.”
“With the appointment of these officers and myself, the command staff will have more than 83 years of combined experience to serve the people of Barton County,” Bellendir said.
Green began his career in 1976 as a Hoisington Police Officer attaining the rank of captain. He went to work for the Barton County Sheriff’s Office in 1979 and has served as sergeant, lieutenant, jail administrator and is currently captain.
Greene has also served as a K-9 officer for the department. He has a long family history with law enforcement, his father was chief of police at Kinsley and St. John for many years, his brother Ed Green was a local law enforcement officer for more than 28 years before he passed away. His uncle Joe Green was appointed sheriff of Barton County after the Sheriff Elect Alfred Jacka was killed in the line of duty in 1950.
Popp is a Hoisington native serving for more than 20 years with the BCSO. Popp has spearheaded many major investigations for the office including homicides and major crimes. Popp attended the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in 1994 and has had extensive advanced training in the last 20 years.
Bellendir is also a Barton County native, having served in law enforcement for over 25 years. He began his service as a reserve deputy and was promoted to reserve sergeant. He later earned full active duty status as a road deputy and soon advanced to road sergeant. After a brief stint away from Barton County, he returned to the department as sergeant/administrator of the Barton County Jail. For the past six years he has been the road patrol lieutenant.
The sheriff-elect defeated incumbent Sheriff Greg Armstrong and former BCSO officer Richard Unrein in the August Republican primary. Bellendir also survived a write-in campaign launched by Armstrong in Tuesday’s general election.