By Shereen Siewert

A Merrill native who spent the past year creating informational videos for the Wausau Police Department is now the city’s full-time videographer, a position requested by the WPD and approved last year by the Wausau City Council.

Ethan Bares worked part-time as a community communications specialist for the WPD since May 2020 and was one of 18 applicants for the role. Wausau Human Resources Director Toni Vanderboom said Bares will earn $19.45 an hour, or $40,456 annually, plus benefits. The council in October approved a budget request for the position, which will be shared by all city departments including the Wausau Police Department.

During a budget meeting in October, Dist. 7 Alder Lisa Rasmussen said that the new role started out in a promotional capacity with the Wausau Police Department but now “almost every department could use the services of a skilled videographer.” Council members approved the position, but chose to wait on funding until July 1. Bares’ first day was last week.

Deputy Chief Matt Barnes called Bares’ work exceptional and said videos can help police and other government officials better communicate their message to the public. The WPD hired Bares and will supervise his work.

“Having someone in this position can help us talk about the great work our people are doing and increase transparency as a whole,” Barnes said.

See Bares’ introductory video here.

Prior to joining the city, Bares produced video on a freelance basis.