Sherriff’s lieutenant terminated for shoplifting

Published 9:05 am Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Berrien County Sheriff’s lieutenant who was found guilty of a third-degree shoplifting charge has been terminated from the force.
Following an internal investigation that ended last week, Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey announced Monday that Lt. Trent Babcock was fired.
“I terminated him because of his actions,” Bailey said.
Babcock was charged with the misdeameanor crime after video footage at the Niles Walmart showed Babcock stowing groceries in a blue plastic tote and bags and exiting the store without paying on Feb. 7, a police report stated.
Babcock stole approximately $184 worth of groceries. He confessed to taking them when he was confronted by an asset protection manager Feb. 8. He returned approximately $172 worth of stolen items to authorities.
Babcock was suspended with pay following the incident, while the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department conducted an internal investigation.
Bailey said he could not comment further on the process that led to Babcock’s dismissal. Other aspects of the internal investigation were considered personnel matters, he said.
Babcock was reached for comment Monday afternoon and said he had worked for the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department so long that he could not actually remember when he joined.
Records show that Babcock served the department for more than a dozen years. In 2013, he was selected as deputy of the year.
At this time Babcock said he “was just trying to figure out life.”
The sheriff’s department will begin searching for someone to assume Babcock’s position as soon as possible, Bailey said.