Beyond the Badge, Community Involvement

PBSP Officer shares high‑flying photos

A plane flies over another plane, upside-down
Correctional Officer John Barker's aviation photos are featured at the Crescent City airport.

John Barker’s photos featured at local airport

Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) Correctional Officer John Barker is not only a dedicated peace officer, he also shares his beautiful photos with the Crescent City community.

Barker is the featured artist at the Del Norte Regional Airport. His exhibition, “Something in the Air,” features 17 photographs in the Observation Deck. Here, Barker shares his experience as both a photographer and public servant.

How long have you worked for CDCR?

I have been in the Department for 12 years and came to PBSP straight from the academy. My plan was to return to the Sacramento area. However, when I got here I discovered the area is just what I was looking for. My plan is to do my entire career here and retire.

What do you find most satisfying about your job?

The way we as officers rally for each other. If there is a challenge or tragedy that affects us we come together and help as we can. We don’t have to face it alone.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in CDCR?

I work with a very diverse and supportive group of officers and non-custody staff. We are always improving the way programs are implemented, and must be open to new ideas. As peace officers, we must also still ensure the safety and security of employees and the institution as a whole. We must also not let the job dictate off-duty life. When you leave the gate, leave the stress of the job there. Get an outside interest and get involved in the community somehow. Because if you don’t have a way to relieve the stresses of the day, it can be hard.

Tell me about your photography hobby

I am a hobbyist photographer and take photos of the local community and events. We are so close to national forests and beach here. This means there is a lot to see and share on social media and in photo competitions. I also have been singing in a community choir here in Crescent City for the past five years. In 2018 we toured some countries in Europe and even sang in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. 

How were your photos featured?

I have been entered in several contests including the county fair and some shows through the local arts community. I have been a featured exhibitor at the local airport for the past several months. 

By PBSP Public Information Officer Lt. Serafin Leon. Photos by Correctional Officer John Barker.

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