Job shadow program looks to connect officers, community members in new way


Madison, Wis. – The Madison Police Department has created a special job shadow program allowing community members and officers to learn from one another.

The Madison Proximity Project pairs a Madison resident with an officer. The officer will shadow this person at their place of employment, and in return, that person will participate in a ride-along with the officer.

There are six pairings in the inaugural round. The co-learning experiences will take place throughout the month of January.  The first occurred on Thursday when a sergeant shadowed the program manager for Operation Fresh Start.

Operation Fresh Start participants and a police sergeant pose on the steps of a house being built.

Participants will come together, over dinner, in February to share what they’ve learned.

“We believe in the power of “proximity” as a force multiplier in our efforts to connect with the Madison community," Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said. "You cannot increase trust and bridge gaps from a distance. You must be willing to establish meaningful relationships in order to increase trust.

“I believe this opportunity will do just that, by creating a program that we hope will lead to a lasting relationship of mutual trust and understanding between a valued community member and a member of our police department.” 

Anyone interested in participating in future rounds of the project can email Madison Police Department's Community Engagement Specialist Alex Ricketts at



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