Press Release: Gov. Evers Announces Carr Retiring After 40 Years in Public Service, Law Enforcement

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers Announces Carr Retiring After 40 Years in Public Service, Law Enforcement
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced Secretary Kevin Carr is retiring after more than four decades in public service and law enforcement.

“Kevin has spent over 40 years working as a public servant, devoting much of his life to keeping our state and our communities safe, and I was incredibly grateful when he decided to join our administration five years ago,” said Gov. Evers. “Kevin was one of the first people I interviewed when I began filling out my cabinet, and it was immediately clear to me Kevin would not only bring a wealth of experience in law enforcement to keeping people safe but that he would do so with an important appreciation for the power of redemption and rehabilitation. I wish Kevin, Judy, and their family all the best in this well-deserved retirement.”

Carr has served in the Evers Administration as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) since December 2018, when he was among the first secretaries to be named to Gov. Evers’ cabinet. Prior to joining the Evers Administration, Carr was a U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, a position to which he was appointed by former President Barack Obama. Carr joined the Evers Administration with 40 years of experience in law enforcement, including 30 years with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office. He received his undergraduate degree from Concordia University and is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

“The past five years have been quite memorable, and I could not be prouder to have worked with some of the finest public servants in the country who are doing amazing work every day under very difficult conditions,” said Carr. “I have truly been inspired and impressed by the dedication and professionalism of everyone at the DOC. I want to thank them for their incredible work, and I also want to express my gratitude to Gov. Evers for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to lead this agency and work with so many remarkable people.”

During his time at the department, Carr led initiatives to increase educational opportunities for persons in our care, expand the Earned Release Program to increase eligibility, and expand Medication Assisted Treatment for those on supervision and in custody. Additionally, under Carr’s leadership, the department recreated the Internal Affairs Office, expanded its communications capacity, increased transparency through community and stakeholder engagement, established a dedicated open records unit, expanded training for management, and is developing a new program to provide greater support for staff who have experienced work-related trauma.

Carr also led the creation of a dedicated recruitment team and fought to secure compensation increases, which were included in the new Compensation Plan approved last year by Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin State Legislature. What followed were some of the largest correctional officer academies in department history, with the latest class reaching 214 new officers. The DOC’s current vacancy rate for correctional officers and sergeants at adult institutions is 21.3 percent. Given the size of the latest correctional officer academy, which began February 26 and will graduate in April, the vacancy rate is expected to drop lower than it was when Carr was appointed.

Carr’s retirement is effective next Fri., March 8, 2024. A search to fill Carr’s position is already underway. The governor expects to announce Carr’s replacement in the coming weeks.
An online version of this release is available here.