City Manager Erika Storlie on June 11 announced the appointment of Deputy Chief Aretha Barnes as Interim Chief of the Evanston Police Department.
“I appreciate Interim Chief Barnes’s stepping up to lead the Evanston Police Department as our City undertakes a community-driven, nationwide search for our next police chief,” said Ms. Storlie. “Interim Chief Barnes has served our community with integrity and dedication for more than two decades, and I look forward to working with her in the months to come.”
During her service as Deputy Chief, Ms. Barnes has overseen the department’s Field Operations Division, Investigations Division, and most recently, the Support Services Division. She is a 24-year veteran of the department.
Prior to her service with the Evanston Police Department, Ms. Barnes served as a police officer with the University of Illinois Police Department. She began her law enforcement career with the United States Air Force as a law enforcement specialist.
Interim Chief Barnes holds a Master of Science degree in Business Administration from National Louis University. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command and Executive Management Program, and the Senior Management Institute’s Police Executive Research Forum.
If the chief was removed for misconduct, the City should not have agreed to confidentiality.
If he was removed because of a policy disagreement, which is likely the case, the City should come clean about it’s rationale in removing an experienced, dedicated officer.
Still no reason for firing the chief. Lack of transparency is alive and well in Evanston.
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