Community leaders react to decision for Madison’s next top cop

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 9:52 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Local community leaders are reacting to the selection of Dr. Shon Barnes as Madison’s next police chief.

“We as an organization, are very pleased with this decision, said Rev. David Heart. Hart is the president of Dane County Blacks for Political and Social Action.

He believes Dr. Shon Barnes is the best choice to lead the city.

“Not only is he from the Midwest, but he certainly has a track record for being able to pull departments together and work with diverse populations,” said Hart.

The commission has hosted online conversations as part of the hiring process over the past year. Barnes was one of four finalist named on Dec. 4 and final interviews were conducted on Dec.8. Interviews were then released to the public the next day.

Freedom Inc. In Madison disagreed with the process in choosing the police chief.

“We’re really disappointed with the process to get the new police chief,” said Mahnker Dahnweih, community coordinator with the organization.

Freedom Inc. officials said there should have been a stronger emphasis on public input in the final decision than there was and hopes the new chief prioritizes putting resources back into the community.

The groups did agree that the chief has a lot of work ahead of him.

NBC15 also reached out to Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. Her office sent a statement. The mayor says she’s excited to welcome Dr. Barnes to the city and continue the work to reimagine public safety.

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