The United States Justice Department has announced today that it has appointed Madison’s own Noble Wray to run a new project to help police officers improve their relationships with their communities, part of a broader effort to build more trust in American law enforcement.

Wray’s appointment is a part of the Obama administration’s response to unrest against police in many American cities. Wray was the chief of police in Madison for almost nine years, before stepping down two years ago. All told, Wray was with the Madison Police Department for 29 years.

“Chief Wray’s background and extensive experience make him the ideal candidate to lead this effort,” Ronald Davis, Wray’s new boss at the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, said in a statement.

Wray will lead the Policing Practices and Accountability Initiative, the department announced. He served as a Justice Department consultant in Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the August 2014 police shooting of an unarmed black man, helping local authorities confront problems associated with systemic racism.