MILWAUKEE — Several members of the Milwaukee Common Council have asked the Fire and Police Commission to halt their process of hiring a new Milwaukee police chief.
On Aug. 6, the FPC voted to demote Alfonso Morales from police chief to captain. Since then, Michael Brunson has been serving as acting police chief while the FPC seeks a replacement.
Now, seven Common Council members are asking that the process of finding a replacement be halted due to "the reported internal dysfunction affecting the Fire and Police Commission and the departures last week of the FPC’s executive director (Griselda Aldrete) and her chief of staff," according to a press release from the city of Milwaukee Thursday.
The request from the members came in a letter just two days before the three finalist candidates plan to attend a virtual community meeting, where they will discuss issues and answer questions.
In their letter, the Common Council members wrote in part, "As is widely known, the executive director of the Commission recently resigned and her chief of staff chose to depart with her. Before that, Chief Morales retired but then filed a lawsuit against the City alleging that he was unfairly treated by your honorable body."
They continued on by questioning the efficiency and validity of the commission.
"We wonder who is preparing promotional lists? Who is monitoring the A.C.L.U. settlement? Who is ensuring that our hiring and promotional processes are as inclusive as this community needs and demands? And who is monitoring the complaints of citizens at a time where police-community relations appear to be at low ebb?"
The members said the new chief needs to have the support of the community, and that won't happen under current circumstances.
"The chief you select will be faced with immense challenges. He or she must have the strong support of the community. He or she should not be selected under a deep cloud of uncertainty like that presently hanging over the Commission," wrote the Common Council members.
Two of the candidates responded to comment regarding the halt Thursday evening.
Dallas Major Malik Aziz: “I look forward to the process of being selected as the next police chief of Milwaukee no matter the time frame.”
Hoyt Mahaley: “I have complete confidence in the decision makers involved, and I am sure they will arrive at the best decision and process for the community.”