WAUWATOSA — In a recommendation letter shared on social media Wednesday, Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber called former police officer Joseph Mensah an "excellent police officer" and is "disappointed" Mensah left the department. Mensah was just hired on as a deputy with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.
"I am disappointed that he is no longer a member of our department," Chief Weber writes in a Dec. 23, 2020 job recommendation letter for Mensah that was addressed to a detective of the Sheriff's Department. That recommendation letter was shared by the police department onto its social media pages Wednesday. "He possesses the skills to be successful in law enforcement during the difficult times our profession faces," the chief writes.
Mensah was involved in three police shootings in the past five years: the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole at Mayfair Mall last February; the fatal shooting of Antonio Gonzales in 2015; and the fatal shooting of Jay Anderson Jr. in 2016. Mensah was not criminally charged in any of the shootings.
Following the shooting of Cole, Mensah was suspended with pay from the Wauwatosa Police Department pending the investigation.
In the recommendation letter, the chief said he would be "happy to recommend" Mensah as a candidate for the Sheriff's Department. "During his tenure here, he proved himself to be an excellent police officer. He followed the rules, became a member of our Special Response Team, and received compliments from citizens he interacted with."
The police department says Mensah asked the chief for a letter of recommendation as he was applying for the job with the Sheriff's Department.
Mensah agreed to leave the Wauwatosa Police Department with a generous financial package last November.
Read Wauwatosa Police Chief Weber's recommendation letter here: