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Evanston names veteran member of Police Department interim chief

Pioneer Press Newspapers - 6/12/2021

Jun. 12—Evanston city leaders on Friday named Deputy Police Chief Aretha Barnes as interim chief of the city's Police Department, according to a news release.

Barnes replaces former Chief Demetrius Cook, who retired abruptly June 7.

"I appreciate Interim Chief Barnes stepping up to lead the Evanston Police Department as our City undertakes a community-driven, nationwide search for our next police chief," said City Manager Erika 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."

As deputy chief, Barnes oversaw the department's Field Operations Division, Investigations Division and Support Services Division, according to the release. She has been with the department 24 years.

Barnes began her career as a law enforcement specialist with the United States Air Force, according to the release. She worked as an officer with the University of Illinois Police Department before joining the Evanston force.

Barnes holds a master's degree in business administration from National Louis University, according to the release. She is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and Executive Management Program, and the Senior Management Institute's PoliceExecutive Research Forum.


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