New sheriff for Dane County

    Kalvin D. Barrett (official photo)
    Kalvin D. Barrett (official photo)

    Gov. Tony Evers has appointed Kalvin Barrett as Dane County sheriff, to complete the term of Sheriff David Mahoney, who has served since 2006 and won reelection in 2018. He plans to retire on May 8 to take a job with American Family Insurance. The next election will be in November 2022. 

    “With 12 years of service as a law enforcement officer, Kalvin Barrett is a dedicated public servant,” Evers said in a statement. “I am confident he will be an effective, empathetic leader in Dane County and will work to ensure the safety of and collaboration with every community he serves.”

    Barrett served as Dane County deputy sheriff from 2009 to 2011, and as an officer with the Sun Prairie Police Department from 2011 to 2016. He is currently a law enforcement officer at Wisconsin State Fair Park and the faculty director of the criminal justice studies program at Madison College. 

    In a statement thanking Evers for appointing him, Barrett pledged to “continue the community and law enforcement engagement collaboration that has been the foundation of the sheriff’s office.” 

    “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.” 

    Mahoney praised Evers and the selection committee that chose Barrett for selecting someone “who has the community ties and commitment to fair and impartial law enforcement. Someone with a passion for community engagement on issues, who will guide the Sheriff’s Office into the future with equitable and equal justice for all citizens.” 

    State Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) commended Evers on his appointment. “I am excited Kalvin Barrett will be our next Dane County Sheriff.  I know he will work to keep us safe and strengthen the relationships between law enforcement and all our communities in Dane County.”

    Barrett was recommended for the appointment by a blue ribbon panel of community and law enforcement leaders, including 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.

    Ruth Conniff
    Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine where she worked for many years from both Madison and Washington, DC. Shortly after Donald Trump took office she moved with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico, and covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Trump. Conniff is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She graduated from Yale University in 1990, where she ran track and edited the campus magazine The New Journal. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.