Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission expediting interim chief decision

Chief Flynn retires next month

MILWAUKEE - The clock is ticking for Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission to find a temporary replacement for retiring Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, but the leaders say they know it.

They are posting the job for the Interim Milwaukee police chief Friday, Jan. 12 and the applications are due by the next week, Friday, Jan. 19.

"It is going to be a wild ride. It is going to be super fast. We want to have all this wrapped up Feb. 16," said Steven DeVougas, the chair of Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission.

Flynn retires on Feb. 16. Only current MPD officers can apply for the interim position. Plus, the commission wants some sort of a public feedback session.

Though Mayor Tom Barrett has made it clear, the commission cannot sidetrack the Milwaukee Police Department was delaying their selection of a temporary chief.

"You need to have someone who can keep the trains running on time and that means you have to have someone who is familiar with the police department," Barrett said.

The mayor also said he plans to offer his opinion during the selection process.

"The mayor is the person as an elected official who as the most interaction with the chief. So I am not going to be shy in letting them know what is important," Barrett said. "I want someone who can continue a lot of the reforms that occurred under Chief Flynn."

But the public also was not shy about what they were looking for either.

"It's crucial the FPC pick a police chief who is open to changing the state of policing in the city for the better," said Lauren B., who spoke to the commission but did not want to give her last name.

"We have a great opportunity to choose a liaison between a community and a system," said Sam Alford of the NAACP.

The assurance from the Fire and Police Commission was that the process will be open.

"It is going to be inclusive, transparent and fair," said Nelson Soler, a commissioner for the Fire and Police Commission.

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