MILWAUKEE — Friday, Michael Brunson, a 25-year-veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, was sworn in as acting police chief following the demotion of his predecessor, Alfonso Morales.
The event marked a new day and a new era within the Milwaukee Police Department.
The change comes after the Fire and Police Commission opted to demote Morales from Chief to Captain Thursday night.
Eighteen days before that, he was ordered to adhere to eleven directives given by the FPC, ranging from the ability to obtain records to officer reprimands. He was also told to attend all FPC meetings.
“This was definitely a surprise to me but I know as a city and agency we have to move forward for the citizens of Milwaukee,” Brunson said.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has questions regarding the process in which the demotion played out. He is now looking for new permanent leadership at both the police department and the FPC, as executive director Griselda Aldrete is set to step down.
“There’s several issues here,” Barrett said. “The process. I was not happy with the process. I think the Fire and Police Commission and I feel he deserved a chance to respond to those [directives]. I want to see our FPC respected. I want to see the police respected.”
Brunson said his top goals are reducing violent crime and bridging divides between the community and Milwaukee Police.
“The men and women of the police department care about this community. I care about this community,” Brunson said.
Barrett said he is open to conducting a national search to find a new full-time police chief. The posting for the FPC executive director role was posted on the city’s website Wednesday.