Skip to main content
Press Release

Department of Justice Appoints Veterans Law Enforcement Executive to Lead New Policing Practices and Accountability Initiative

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director Ronald Davis today announced the appointment of Noble Wray, retired Madison, Wisconsin, police chief, to lead its newly created Policing Practices and Accountability Initiative.

The creation of the new initiative follows a recommendation of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.  The report also calls on the COPS Office to assist the field in implementing task force recommendations.  Specifically, recommendation 7.3 charges the COPS Office with “assisting the law enforcement field in addressing current and future challenges” and to “create a National Policing Practices and Accountability Division.”  Wray will serve as chief of this new initiative.

The new COPS Office initiative will also oversee the collaborative reform and critical response technical assistance programs and assist the law enforcement field in developing strategies to implement task force recommendations, work closely with law enforcement and elected officials to provide technical assistance, identify industry best practices and provide crisis response services.

“The recommendations from the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing serve as a blueprint for reducing crime while building trust and legitimacy,” said Director Davis.  “Chief Wray's background and extensive experience make him the ideal candidate to lead this effort.”

Wray comes to the Department of Justice’s COPS Office after serving close to 30 years at the Madison Police Department, with nine as chief of police.  Wray is a widely respected law enforcement leader recognized for his community policing efforts and work to build trust between the police and the communities they serve.  He has worked with the Department of Justice to provide training to more than 200 law enforcement agencies on fair and impartial policing.  He has also consulted with law enforcement on topics such as “Blue Courage,” which emphasizes improving police culture and leadership; police legitimacy and procedural justice; and the “nobility of policing,” which focuses on the purpose of policing in a democratic society.

Wray has also served on a number of non-profit boards in the Madison area, including serving as interim CEO for the Urban League of Greater Madison, Wisconsin, and board president for the United Way of Dane County.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

The COPS Office, headed by Director Ronald Davis, is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide.  Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 127,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit

Updated August 22, 2016

Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 15-1538