Evanston’s interim police chief, Aretha Barnes, has announced plans to retire on Jan. 3 after over 25 years on the force.

Before taking on the role of interim police chief last June, Barnes served as deputy chief, overseeing the department’s Field Operations, Investigations, and Support Services divisions.

“For more than two decades, Interim Chief Barnes has served the Evanston community with honor, dedication and integrity,” said Interim City Manager Kelley A. Gandurski in a statement. “I greatly appreciate her many years of outstanding service to our community and her willingness to step up and lead our police department over the last six months. I wish her the very best in retirement.”

Mayor Daniel Biss said, “While her retirement is a tremendous loss for Evanston, I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her and even more grateful for the lasting impact she’s made on our community. Her service to Evanston has been invaluable and she will be greatly missed.”

Before her work in Evanston, Barnes was a police officer with the University of Illinois Police Department and began her career as a law enforcement specialist with the United States Air Force.

A news release from the city said a new interim police chief would be appointed “in the coming weeks.” The City Council late this week scheduled an executive session meeting for Tuesday to discuss personnel matters.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.