A man working for the city of Orlando as a mentor to children and teenagers has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an adolescent victim he met while working as a school resource officer at Jones High School.
On Tuesday, an Orlando Police Department School Resource Officer assigned to Jones High School was notified of an alleged inappropriate relationship involving Darius Barker and a victim under the age of 18.
Barker is employed in the city of Orlando’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program and works at the Academic Center for Excellence School.
Before his employment with the city, Barker was employed as an officer with the Orlando Police Department. A search of OPD records shows that Barker was sworn in as an officer on May 24, 2018. During his time with the department, Barker was recognized as a “real life success story,” according to OPD.
The department regularly touted Barker’s participation in Operation Positive Direction, which he originally joined as a participant in 2010 while was a teenager.
During his time as an officer, Barker took on a role mentoring children through the operation, garnering recognition from his superiors and local politicians.
“Officer Darius Barker grew up in Orlando and attended Jones High School. Now he’s helping Orlando Police Department develop positive relationships with young residents in our community,” reads a statement from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer from September 4, 2020.
According to a statement issued by OPD, in lieu of termination, Barker resigned from his position in July 2022 while he was allegedly “under investigation” for something “unrelated to” the current case.
The case is currently under investigation by the Orlando Police Department Special Victims Unit. No charges have been filed yet against Barker.