Ald. Bob Donovan
Press Release

In the Stand-Off Between Mayor Barrett and Chief Morales, Residents are the Real Losers

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan - March 9, 2020

By - Mar 9th, 2020 10:21 am

For the Milwaukee Police Department to be effective it must be well-led. It must have an experienced, diverse, able team of men and women who know how to shape the officers they supervise into responsive, accountable public servants.

That is what makes the current stand-off between Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Alfonso Morales over the appointment of two assistant chiefs so disheartening and so worrying.

The facts do not seem to be in dispute: Chief Morales wants to recruit back to the department two veteran supervisors to serve as assistant chiefs. One had previously retired, began receiving a pension, and was then hired to a civilian position in which she currently serves. The Mayor has been quoted as objecting, saying this is a type of “double-dipping”. The other prospective assistant chief is currently serving as the chief of police in another community, and the Mayor, believing the candidate is asking for too much in salary, is preventing his salary from being approved.

The Chief has only said that these are two individuals on whom he feels he can rely, who have records of strong leadership, and who he needs to help prepare Milwaukee not only for the 2020 Democratic National Convention but all its up-coming obligations.

Now, I will observe that Mayor Barrett has come a bit late to a concern over double-dipping, having himself nominated a retired police captain as the executive director of the City’s election commission. Perhaps he joined Emerson in the belief that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. And, while I am all too aware of the fiscal problems facing the City, sooner or later he will have to abandon his obsession with the provision of the Salary Ordinance that no salary be set higher than his own. The demands of the modern workplace will, I think, force him to yield on this.

For his part, the Chief might have proceeded with more caution, making certain the needed approvals were in place before going to the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to ask for its permission to fill these positions. That all this is playing out in public has made compromise all the more difficult.

In the end, though, these men must settle this. The department needs these chiefs and this community needs the dedicated service the department provides. We cannot afford to have a police department as lacking in leadership as Milwaukee has far too frequently been over the last 16 years.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by Ald. Bob Donovan

Will No One Have the Courage and Good Sense to Postpone the Spring General Election?

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan March 31, 2020

In the Stand-Off Between Mayor Barrett and Chief Morales, Residents are the Real Losers

Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan - March 9, 2020

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A Long-Term Solution to Reckless Driving Will Require Leadership

One thought on “In the Stand-Off Between Mayor Barrett and Chief Morales, Residents are the Real Losers”

  1. Duane says:

    And who would know better about “real losers” than BobDon? Now that we have all these police chases resulting in more property damage and injury to innocent people we should remember what BobDon said,

    “The reality is, when we had the non-pursuit policy, it ended up creating an atmosphere of lawlessness across Milwaukee,” Donovan said. “People knew they could flee from police. No matter what they did, police wouldn’t chase them.”

    Now we have high speed chases on streets not capable of supporting this policy with any degree of safety. I would bet the majority agree with him, especially those who do not live here, but in my opinion he is a world class reactionary dunce. Good riddance.

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