NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The head of Mayor Megan Barry’s security detail has abruptly retired, according to a letter he sent to the Metro Nashville Police Department.

The news of Sgt. Robert Forrest’s retirement came just hours before the mayor admitted she had an extramarital affair with him.

Forrest announced his retirement just two weeks ago in a letter dated Jan. 17, saying he’s “had an outstanding career” and has “enjoyed coming to work each day.” His retirement goes into effect Wednesday.

Forrest was the officer who informed Barry and her husband that their son, Max, had died in July 2017.

He served for the department for 32 years and 8 months. He leaves in “good standing” and is eligible for pension benefits.

Forrest’s resignation letter does not indicate his reasoning for retirement. It said, in full:

Captain Michael Alexander,

I would like to inform you that I am retiring from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on January 31, 2018. I have had an outstanding career and have enjoyed coming to work each day. I plan to make the transition as smooth as possible.

I truly appreciate the support given to me during my 31 plus years of service to the MNPD.


Sergeant Robert Forrest

On Jan. 15, 2016, Mayor Megan Barry wrote an email to Metro police leadership regarding her security detail, just after finishing her first 100 days in office. On Forrest, she wrote:

Sergeant Forrest is a consummate professional in his dealings with me and my staff. From the first day he collected me to take me to the swearing in to the many events and functions I have participated in since, his deep knowledge of Nashville has been essential to my overall success. I am able to do my job efficiently and creatively because of his excellent relationships all across the community. His leadership of the overall detail is also critical. His team works like a well-oiled machine and since much of my day includes transport between locations, arriving on time and in the right place, his careful oversight of the team is essential. Because of Sergeant Forrest’s long-time service to previous mayors, I am the recipient of his expertise. I also appreciate his willingness to work with my new staff and to mentor them …

Forrest also supervised the security for Mayor Bill Purcell and Mayor Karl Dean.

He is a Nashville native who graduated from John Overton High School and continued his education at Middle Tennessee State University where he majored in Criminal Justice Administration and Psychology.

According to the city’s website, Forrest was also the supervisor of Hate Crime Investigations, the Crime Stoppers program, and security for visiting dignitaries.

Forrest has been married to his wife Penny for nearly 30 years. They have a daughter, Macy, who is an attorney in the Metro Legal Department.