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Public critical ahead of commission's Milwaukee police interim chief choice

Chief Ed Flynn will retire next month
Posted at 10:27 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 23:27:13-05

The three candidates for Milwaukee's Interim Police Chief will be announced Thursday, but first the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission wanted to hear from the public about what's important to them.

The Commission came to the Milwaukee Black Historical Society to listen.

"I think we will take what is said here, taking the temperature of the community, taking the pulse," said Steven DeVougas, Fire and Police Commission Chair. "Hone in on the questions, hone in on the issues." 

An expert panel fielded questions from the community about police issues they wanted the next chief to focus on.

"What is the police force going to do about the violence?" said Angela Lovett, a northwest side resident.

"We want someone community minded, we want someone who is fair and we want someone who can clean up the police department," said central city resident Brenda Hart-Richardson. 

The panel included Milwaukee Police Union President Michael Crivello, a member of the League of Martin, Regina Howard and the president of the National Latino Peace Officers Association Alexander Ayala.

It also included YMCA Racial Judgment Engagement Manager Jamaal Smith and Fire and Police Commissioner Marisabel Crivello.

They answered questions ranging from police shootings to immigration. A comment regarding slow response times drew boos from the crowd.

"Any call that goes through the 911 dispatch generally they are there within six minutes of the time they get...," Crivello said, who got cut off by shouts.

He later finished that the slow response comes because people cannot get through to 911.

Another complaint came from Ayala, who is also a detective, who says he wants traffic stop quotas to end.

"We need officers to be solving crime and not putting dots on a map for a traffic stop," Ayala said.

Fixing community relations was a top priority for many.

"The disconnect between the community and the police department," said East Side resident Mike Robertson.

And some people cheered when asked about picking a chief from Milwaukee.

"Why aren't we looking at homegrown talent right here?" Smith said. "Let's look here."