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Madison PFC selects Dr. Shon Barnes as next police chief

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 3:29 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2020 at 5:23 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Board of Police and Fire Commissioners selected Dr. Shon Barnes Friday to be the next police chief for the City of Madison.

The commission voted 3-2 in favor of Barnes, with the other two votes being in favor of Ramon Batista.

According to a news release, the PFC will issue a conditional offer of appointment, which is standard practice.

MPD thanked the PFC for their work in choosing a candidate to lead the police force.

“Chief Wahl, and other members of the MPD command staff, are looking forward to working with Dr. Barnes, and are committed to making his transition to MPD and the City of Madison as smooth as possible,” the department said in a statement.

Dr. Barnes is currently the Director of Training and Professional Development for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability in Chicago. He was most recently the Deputy Chief of Police in Salisbury, North Carolina (2017-2020) and a Captain with the Greensboro Police Department where he started as a patrol officer in the fall of 2000.

Barnes was honored as a National Institute of Justice LEADS Scholar for using innovative technology to reduce crime and was recently selected as a member of the National Police Foundation’s Council on Policing Reforms and Race.

In a prerecorded interview published on Dec. 9, the police chief finalists shared their thoughts on why they should be the next top cop and answered questions from PFC member Jacquelyn Boggess.

Barnes said then that role of law enforcement should be one of support.

“I’ve never seen the police as being a blue line, in fact I really don’t like that analogy,” Barnes said. “We are not a blue line, but what we are is a blue piece of thread and we are woven into the community.”

The PFC noted that their deliberation process in choosing the next chief was “rigorous” and “comprehensive.” They thanked the community for their input on this selection.

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