MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission voted unanimously to appoint Acting Police Chief Jeffrey Norman to the permanent role Thursday.
Norman will serve a four-year term as police chief.
Norman has been a member of the Milwaukee Police Department for over 25 years and has served as acting chief since Dec. 23, 2020.
“It is an honor to be the Chief of the Milwaukee Police Department. I am grateful to be able to continue to serve the community that I grew up in and to lead the members of the Milwaukee Police Department in this new chapter of my tenure. I am committed to working with our community and system partners to continue to build sustainable neighborhoods free of crime that are built on positive relationships”, said Norman.
Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas congratulated Norman on his appointment Thursday night.
"We look forward to working with you and your members to address the urgent public safety needs of crime, fear, and disorder in Milwaukee, and combating the issues of reckless driving and auto theft," Sheriff Lucas said. "You lead one of the finest organizations in the country, and I know you will serve the people of Milwaukee with honor, integrity, and trust.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issued a statement on Friday:
“I congratulate Chief Jeffrey Norman for earning approval to lead the Milwaukee Police Department over the next four years. Chief Norman is an accomplished leader with a notable breadth of experience.
“I also appreciate the work of the Fire and Police Commission as it brought this extended process to a conclusion. Commission members were thoughtful and diligent in their deliberations that wrapped up last evening.
“There is significant and important work ahead to reduce violence, to curtail reckless driving, and to assure policing in Milwaukee is constitutional and respectful. I look forward to working with Chief Norman to make certain the people of Milwaukee have top quality public safety services.”
Norman was previously chosen to be the sole applicant for the job. The FPC put on hold its initial search on a police chief amid the city's legal battle with the previous chief, Alfonso Morales. But since the city settled with Morales and Morales moved on to be the chief of the Fitchburg Police Department, the FPC has set its sights on Acting Chief Norman.
Norman has participated in a selection progress these past months. He was asked to present his resume and ideas for the future of the department, and asked questions from commissioners at several meetings and participated in community listening sessions.
If chosen, Norman would serve a four-year term as police chief.
The FPC demoted former chief Morales last year, sparking a legal conflict between the former chief and the city. Morales accepted a judge-ordered financial package earlier this year, concluding the conflict. Norman has been serving as acting chief since late last year.
Other options the FPC could have approved but chose not to include conducting a local, internal search for candidates from within the Milwaukee Police Department, or conducting a national search.
In August the commission unanimously voted to end the search for a new police chief and restart the process in September.
Only one of three finalists the FPC whittled down to in its previous search for a new chief was still interested in the job: Hoyt Mahaley, who calls Milwaukee home and started his career with the Milwaukee Police Department. He's served with the Federal Bureau of Investigations since then.
Malik Aziz, who had been named one of three finalists for the position, was named the next chief of police for the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland. Chris Davis, another finalist, was named the next police chief of the Green Bay Police Department - leaving Mahaley the last finalist still interested in leading the Milwaukee Police Department.