Barrett appointed next Dane Co. Sheriff

Gov. Tony Evers appoints Kalvin Barrett (pictured) to serve as Dane Co. Sheriff on April 2, 2021.
Gov. Tony Evers appoints Kalvin Barrett (pictured) to serve as Dane Co. Sheriff on April 2, 2021.(Gov. Tony Evers' Office)
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 12:03 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison College’s faculty director for its criminal justice program, who also serves as an officer with the Wisconsin State Fair Park, has been picked to lead the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Kalvin Barrett was appointed to serve as the county’s next sheriff, Gov. Tony Evers office announced on Friday. Barrett will take over for retiring Sheriff David Mahoney, when he steps down on May 8 and serve through the end of Mahoney’s term, on January 2, 2023.

“I am excited to bring to the job my perspective as an African American professional who has experience in the field as a peace officer, in the jail as a sheriff’s deputy, and as someone who has educated and trained the next generation of peace officers,” Barrett said in a statement released by the governor’s office.

Barrett, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004 and played for the Badgers football team in his time there, previously worked for the Sheriff’s Office from 2009 to 2011, before moving on to the Sun Prairie Police Dept. for the next five years.

In announcing Barrett’s appointment, Evers noted the incoming sheriff’s 12 years of experience as a law enforcement officer and said he is “confident that (Barrett) will be an effective, empathetic leader in Dane County and will work to ensure the safety of and collaboration with every community he serves.”

Madison State Rep. Sheila Stubbs was quoted in Evers statement as saying she was “excited” by Barrett’s appointment and expects him to be able to keep Dane Co. safe and “strengthen the relationships” between the Sheriff’s Office and the community.

Her sentiment was echoed by Dane Co. Board Chair Analiese Eicher who highlighted the variety of experiences Barrett brings to the table, from his time in the Sheriff’s Office to working as a police officer, to his current role at Madison College.

Eicher went on to say she expected the county board to work with Barrett on criminal justice reform issues and expressed hope that working together the board and sheriff’s office “can decrease the county’s rate of incarceration in general, and eliminate the racial inequities that have plagued the system for far too long.”

Barrett’s appointment comes after a long search that began soon after Mahoney retired in min-January, after 14 years as Dane County’s sheriff. About a month later, the governor’s office extended the deadline for applicants for the position.

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