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Chief Shon Barnes

Shon Barnes is Chief of the Madison Police Department in Madison, WI. Prior to his appointment as Chief in February 2021, Chief Barnes served as the Director of Training and Professional Development in Chicago, Illinois, and he was the former Deputy Chief of Police in Salisbury (NC). He was previously a Captain with the Greensboro Police Department, where he began his career as a patrol officer in November 2000. He has vast experience in police leadership, serving as the commander of 4 Police Divisions. He has also served in the armed forces as a United States Marine.

Barnes attended Elizabeth City State University, where he received a B.A. Degree in History/Pre-Law, and the University of Cincinnati, where he received a master’s degree in Criminal Justice. He earned his Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where his dissertation focus was “Racial disparities in traffic stops, and the role of police leadership in community engagement efforts.” Dr. Barnes was selected as the 2015 National Institute of Justice L.E.A.D.S Scholar (Law Enforcement Advancement through Data and Science) for using science and evidence-based policing practices to improve policing, and community relations.

Throughout his career, Dr. Barnes has worked hard to implement Neighborhood Oriented Policing, which focuses on smaller police beat responses and foot patrols. He has implemented the Stratified Model of Policing which encompasses Problem Solving, Crime Analysis, and Accountability at all levels within the organization. These efforts have significantly improved community-police relations as evidenced by a 100% clearance rate on all homicides occurring in Salisbury during his tenure. His philosophy as it relates to policing simply states, “Policing should be neighborhood-oriented, community-focused (business and residential), problem-oriented, and based on the most current empirical research available to reduce crime and improve citizens’ satisfaction with police services.”

Shon joins The CopDoc Podcast on October 18th, 2022.


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