Barnes officially accepts Madison police chief position

No hard date for his first day has been given.
Shon Barnes
Shon Barnes(Board of Police and Fire Commissioners)
Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 11:49 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The man picked to be Madison’s next chief of police has accepted the position.

The Madison Police Dept. confirmed Dr. Shon Barnes will take over the department, but offered no set date for when he will start. He will replace current acting chief Vic Wahl.

On Friday, the Madison Board of Police and Fire Commissioners selected Barnes out of a list of four possible candidates. He was approved in a 3-2 vote with another finalist, Ramon Batista, getting the two other votes.

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.

Community reaction to Barnes selection was mixed, with Dane Co. Blacks for Political and Social Action Rev. David Heart saying his organization was pleased with the decision and Barnes was the best choice for the role.

“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.

Others disagreed with the selection, with community coordinator for Freedom Inc. Mahnker Dahnweih saying he was disappointed with the process by which Barnes was selected. His organization had pressed for more community input in the decision.

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