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Kalvin Barrett to serve as new Dane County sheriff

Kalvin Barrett

Kalvin Barrett

Kalvin Barrett will serve as the new Dane County sheriff.

Gov. Tony Evers announced Barrett’s appointment on Friday. He replaces Sheriff David J. Mahoney, who is resigning effective May 8. Barrett will complete the remainder of Mahoney’s term, which ends Jan. 2, 2023.

Barrett is currently a law-enforcement officer at Wisconsin State Fair Park and the faculty director of the criminal justice studies program at Madison College. He also teaches courses on law enforcement and criminal justice at the college, and is a workplace violence and active threat response consultant.

He previously served as Dane County Deputy Sheriff from 2009 to 2011 and as an officer with the Sun Prairie Police Department from 2011 to 2016.

Barrett earned his bachelor’s degree in 2004 from UW-Madison and his master’s degree in criminal justice from American Public University in 2020.

Evers described Barrett as a dedicated public servant who will be an “effective, empathetic” leader in Dane County. Mahoney agreed, saying Barrett will serve the community well and guide the sheriff’s office to a future with equitable and equal justice for all citizens.

Rep. Shelia Stubbs, D-Madison, said she’s confident that Barrett will keep the community safe and strengthen relationships between the community and law enforcement.

According to Evers’ office, Barrett was recommended for the appointment by a diverse panel of community and law enforcement leaders. The panel included: Anthony Burrell, the superintendent of the Wisconsin State Patrol; David Erwin, the chief of the Wisconsin Capitol Police; Earnell Lucas, the sheriff for Milwaukee County; Reisha Mitchell, an administrative law judge and former public defender; Ryan Nilsestuen, the governor’s chief legal counsel; Aissa Olivarez, the managing attorney for the Community Immigration Law Center; and Teran Peterson, a Dane County Board Supervisor and member of the Public Protection & Judiciary Committee.

Barrett said he’s excited to bring his perspective as an African-American professional with experience in the field as a peace officer, in the jail as a sheriff’s deputy and in the community as an educator training the next generation of officers. He plans to continue the community and law-enforcement engagement collaboration that “has been a foundation of the sheriff’s office.”

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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