Community split on Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn's retirement

Flynn will retire in February

MILWAUKEE - Community members had mixed emotions about Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn's retirement

Flynn made the announcement Monday, and his last day will be Feb. 16.

"It is far past his time for it. I think there will be a lot of changes positively," said north side resident Namoi Morris.

"I really liked Chief Flynn, I really did. I thought he was a good police chief," said north side resident Regina Adams.

"He was a very good chief," said northwest side resident James Burnham.

"I think he has done a great job," said East side resident Luis Vazquez.

Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton agrees with Morris. He and the chief did not always see eye to eye.

"It is an opportunity for the city of Milwaukee to move in a different direction," Hamilton said.

Others feel this is a natural transition. Groups like Sojourner Family Peace Center and the City of Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention hope the focus stays on preventing crime rather than reacting.

"I think that we did some good work under his tenure," said Carmen Pitre, president/CEO of Sojourner Family Peace Center. "We have the entire Sensitive Crimes unit and we have the largest family peace center, family justice center around the world so he should be proud of that accomplishment." 

"He definitely was an advocate for prevention and understood that we needed to take a comprehensive approach to this issue so we hope that whoever the short term chief and long-term chief is will also embody that belief," said Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention Director  Reggie Moore.

What people can agree on is moving forward, they want to see a better relationship between police and the community. 

"To just make sure the community continues to stay engaged and continues to be partners with the police department," Hamilton said.

"I think the community is ours, meaning the citizens who live in it and the police officers as well. So at some point we need to get a place where it is not an us against them mentality," said Central City resident Mark Wade.

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