MIDDLEBURY — It would be an understatement to say that Gary Barclay’s first day as a Middlebury police officer was a case of baptism by fire.
It was 1971. The Vietnam War was still raging and President Richard Nixon was in the White House. Barclay, then 25, had recently dropped off an application at the Middlebury Police Department in hopes of securing some part-time work in a field that appealed to him.
Then the call came. It was from then-Middlebury Police Chief Robert Van Ness.