John E. Pate Announced as a Finalist for Chief of Police for the Milwaukee Police Department by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission
(ATLANTA, GA — October 6, 2020) — After completing an extensive nationwide search, the City of Milwaukee has named John E. Pate as one of the final six candidates for Chief of Police. Pate currently serves as City Manager (Chief Administrative Officer) and Director of Public Safety for the City of Opa-locka, Florida located in Miami-Dade County.
Within a span of less than a year since Pate began his current position as City Manager, he has been successful administering $89 Million in resources to create efficiencies and growth in areas of concern for the City of Opa-locka while also developing a 5-year financial recovery plan that was recently approved without modification or changes by the State of Florida’s Chief Inspector General.
Additionally, Pate’s business acumen led to discovering inefficiencies in wastewater billing through a stormwater utility rate study, resulting in an additional $2.5M in revenue-generation for an enterprise fund in the City of Opa-locka. He also spearheaded an 8-member team to obtain certification for Truth-in-Millage (TRIM) Legislation in Compliance for FY2019 – FY2020 with the Florida Department of Revenue, ensuring the city had access to hundreds of thousands of funding which otherwise would have been withheld.
“As City of Milwaukee’s Chief of Police, my top priority would be rebuilding and repairing trust within the community through transparency, accountability, communication, and teamwork. I’d also work to improve the dialogue between law enforcement and members of the community,” said Pate. “My track record in law enforcement has shown that I have the objectivity, sensitivity, and ability to keep the City of Milwaukee a safer community for all residents, visitors, and businesses.”
Pate has seven key leadership traits that he lives by and believes is necessary for any leader to move any law enforcement agency forward to greatness. These traits are accountability, compassion, courage, consistency, credibility, diversity, and integrity. These are seven pillars by which Pate continues to measure himself. Pate believes these pillars are but a blueprint of success for any leader in any organization.
Equity-based, performance-based, community policing is the key to success in crime reduction and community buy-in for any police department. This is especially true for Milwaukee. Milwaukeeans have shown their displeasure with the status-quo through protests and rallies spanning over 100 days. Pate is not the status quo; he understands as a Chicagoan how vital it is to listen to the communities served and how vital the community is to raise the bar in policing strategies. He may not be from Milwaukee, but he is from the region and knows all too well how to effectuate positive and meaningful change by ensuring that his officers remain well-trained and accountable to the communities they serve.
“I strongly believe that police-community relations and engagement is vital to the success of any public safety organization regardless of size, demographic, and population. It is imperative that a comprehensive, common sense, and measurable police-community relations and engagement strategic plan is developed and cultivated within the current culture of the Milwaukee Police Department,” continued Pate. “The vision, mission, and values of the law enforcement agency and city must encompass these core characteristics that will ensure that community engagement is a top priority for all employees and has a direct impact on the public’s perception of policing within the City of Milwaukee.”
As an inspector with the Cook County Sheriff’s office, Pate increased productivity by 57% by improving operational and administrative strategy and accountability. He was instrumental in converting hostile environments into cooperative communities that were conducive to law enforcement and police-community relations as Chief of Police in University Park, IL.
Pate believes in training his officers to be proactive in law enforcement and providing them with the tools to make sound decisions. This action initiative led to an 80% reduction in violent crime and a 20% reduction in property crime in University Park, IL. He went on to say that “the creation and implementation of the police-community relations and engagement strategic plan is vital to a successful application of corrective actions focused on rebuilding and restoring broken relationships between the law enforcement community and its residents.”
Pate is a Retired Honorably Discharged Military Veteran with ten years of extensive Law Enforcement Executive experience. Before his current City Manager (Chief Administrative Officer) & Director of Public Safety position, Pate worked in University Park, Illinois, as the Chief of Police and later as the City Manager (Chief Administrative Officer) & Director of Public Safety.
He supports The 21st Century Report on Policing in that it should be the blueprint which law enforcement should use as a guide in this current era. The report has had a significant impact on Pate as a leader of law enforcement officers and as a public safety professional. The 21st Century Report on Policing focuses on areas that are essential to the success of a law enforcement organization. The Six Pillars of Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Community Policy and Crime Reduction, Training and Education, and Officer Wellness and Safety are essential to creating the foundation to build upon within the law enforcement agency.
“I have faith that the officers of Milwaukee essentially have a good foundation to build from. They simply need a strong leader to move them forward to mend the community relationships that are broken, nurture the relationships that are not broken, and change and enhance the policing strategies for Milwaukee Police Department to become the “gold standard” of policing for other departments to look to for guidance,” added Pate.
Pate has a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Social Justice Studies and has attended the Northwestern Center of Public Safety’s Police Staff and Command Course, Executive Manager Program, and many other leadership programs. Pate is a Member of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and many other law enforcement organizations.
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