Community remembers longtime campus officer

Published 1:58 pm Thursday, August 31, 2017

By Emily Reed / Special to the Advertiser 

Barry Ewing genuinely loved being a police officer, and enjoyed his time serving students, staff and faculty at the University of Montevallo. 

“If there was one thing that was clear about Barry it was he loved being a police officer,” said University of Montevallo Police Department Chief Chadd Adams. “He was a phenomenal guy, and everybody that came into contact with him, loved him.” 

Ewing passed away Aug. 16, and funeral services were held Aug. 22 at Oyster Bay Baptist Church in Gulf Shores, where Ewing lived. 

Retired University of Montevallo campus police officer Barry Ewing passed away Aug. 16. Ewing retired in January 2015 after serving for 20 years as a police officer with the University of Montevallo Police Department. (Contributed)

Ewing retired in January 2015 after serving for 20 years as a police officer with the University of Montevallo Police Department.  

Adams said for the majority of Ewing’s career he worked the night shift, a role Ewing not only enjoyed, but excelled in. 

“He was the type of person that was able to communicate with anyone,” Adams said. “He could resolve any situation without getting into a tussle. He was a well-spoken guy, and he understood why he was here and it was to support the faculty, staff and students. He embodied the university.” 

Adams said Ewing first started out in law enforcement with the University of South Alabama where he worked for several years before getting hired at UM. 

Prior to getting involved in law enforcement, Ewing spent time working with his family’s shrimp business before deciding to pursue law enforcement. 

“He was born and raised as part of a shrimping family, but he knew he wanted to be a police officer,” Adams said. “He really loved what he did, and he loved it the entire time he worked as a police officer.” 

As news circulated regarding Ewing’s passing, many individuals including current and former students posted on the department’s Facebook page recalling an individual described as “one-of-a-kind,” “nice,” and “gentle.” 

“He was a friend to probably everyone, easy to have a conversation with and seemed to genuinely care about students and students having a great experience at UM,” Richie Posey wrote on Facebook.“This loss stings, but he can’t and will not be forgotten.” 

Christy Malone Lewis wrote that she remembered Ewing as being a “wonderful, kind-hearted, funny man.” 

Adams said campus law enforcement can be tricky at times because an officer not only has to be “warm and kind” to those around them, but they also have to be able to resort to tactical thinking in an instant. 

“Barry was excellent at that,” Adams said. “We have several thousand kids on campus that have never been away from home. He befriended a lot of students because he was easy to talk to, and a lot of them were up late at night working on different projects and things and there was no one else around to talk to except for the police officers. I think a lot of times people don’t always know the impact they have made on someone’s life until they pass away, and I think in Barry’s case he would be touched at the outpouring of love and support he had from this community.”