Madison names four finalists in search for new police chief

By: - December 4, 2020 1:12 pm
Madison Chief Finalists

Shon Barnes, Ramon Batista, Chris Davis and Larry Scirotto have all been named finalists in Madison’s police chief search. (Madison Police and Fire Commission)

After more than a year without a permanent police chief, the Madison Police and Fire Commission (PFC) named four finalists for the top job on Friday. The long search has been taking place with the city’s police department under constant pressure for reform from local activists. 

The four finalists come from local police departments across the country and have held a variety of leadership positions. 

Dr. Shon Barnes is the director of training and professional development for the Chicago Police Department’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Before taking his job in Chicago, Barnes worked for two departments in North Carolina. 

Ramon Batista has been the police chief in Mesa, Ariz. since 2017. He started his career with the Tucson Police Department in 1986 where he held positions up and down the ranks. 

Chris Davis is the deputy chief of the Portland Police Bureau, recently serving as the public face of the department’s controversial response to months-long protests for racial justice. Davis is also a finalist for the top job in the City of Milwaukee’s search for a new police chief, although he did not receive any votes from the city’s Fire and Police Commission at its meeting Dec. 3. 

Larry Scirotto worked at the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for 23 years, retiring in 2018 as an assistant chief. Scirotto was the youngest assistant chief in Pittsburgh police history.

On Dec. 9, the PFC is set to release 35-minute videos of portions of the candidate’s interviews. That night, the commission is scheduled to hold a meeting at 5:30 p.m. to publicly discuss the candidates.


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Henry Redman
Henry Redman

Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.