What Is Going On With the Fire and Police Commission?
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan December 16, 2019
One of these weeks, we will all head into a weekend without some new report of disorder or other trouble with the Fire and Police Commission.
It’s been a while.
We all knew the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners was well below its nine members, that members were serving past the expiration of their terms, and Mayor Tom Barrett had struggled to nominate new members who could be confirmed by the Common Council.
We all heard about a disturbing level of staff resignations — two of which were followed by letters filled with incendiary allegations of mismanagement. This, combined with a number of employees being dismissed, has left the Commission with roughly half of its budgeted workers.
Now, just this past Friday, the Journal Sentinel reported that the Chair of the Commission is in no hurry to confirm Police Chief Alfonso Morales to a four-year term. I like Mr. DeVougas and think he has done a good job as both a member of the Commission and as its chair, but I cannot understand his lack of urgency. The failure of the Commission to re-appoint Chief Morales has injected a note of uncertainty into a department that can ill afford it. The Chief is a “cop’s cop”, a straight-shooter, and has earned another term. I will note that just a few weeks ago I spoke directly to Commissioner DeVougas and he told me he saw no problem with confirming Chief Morales to a new term. If there is something about him or his record that any member of the Commission knows that the public does not, they should say so. If they do not, this is just needless delay.
Also on Friday, a local blog reported that Ms. Griselda Aldrete, the Commission’s executive director, may not have been truthful on the resume she submitted to the Mayor and the Common Council prior to her confirmation. The head of the Department of Employee Relations appeared to confirm the substance of the story when she said there was a discrepancy and a revised resume would be submitted. This might seem a minor thing, but the discrepancy seems to be whether or not Ms. Aldrete taught the criminal justice classes at the Milwaukee Area Technical College she said she did. This is important because those classes were some of the only real-world experience Ms. Aldrete could claim that related directly to the position to which she was nominated.
I said this when the dysfunction at the Milwaukee Health Department was exposed nearly two years ago and I will say it now: Milwaukee deserves better than this. It deserves credible leadership and functioning oversight agencies. This is why I will urge my colleagues to open a formal investigation into the Fire and Police Commission and what is going on in that office. I and many of my colleagues long ago lost faith in the ability of the Barrett administration to remedy the problems it regularly seems to cause. Once again the task of compensating for his willful negligence falls to us.
More about the Fire & Police Commission's Troubles
- City Hall: Council, Aldrete Again Spar Over FPC - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 16th, 2020
- Op Ed: City Attorney Guts Authority of FPC Board - Paul Mozina - Jan 13th, 2020
- City Hall: Chief Morales Reappointed for Four Years - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 18th, 2019
- The Milwaukee Police Association Calls for Milwaukee Fire & Police Commissioner Steven DeVougas to Resign - Milwaukee Police Association - Dec 17th, 2019
- City Hall: Officer Ray Confirmed Without Debate - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 17th, 2019
- Murphy’s Law: The Mess at Fire & Police Commission - Bruce Murphy - Dec 17th, 2019
- FPC Leader Submitted Inaccurate Resume - Gretchen Schuldt - Dec 16th, 2019
- What Is Going On With the Fire and Police Commission? - Ald. Bob Donovan - Dec 16th, 2019
- ACLU Pushes City On Stop-and-Frisk - Edgar Mendez - Dec 13th, 2019
- City Hall: FPC Fumbles Police Residency Points - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 12th, 2019
- City Hall: Stunned Council Grills FPC Director - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 5th, 2019
- Mayor Tom Barrett released the following statement regarding Fire and Police Commission Director Griselda Aldrete: - Mayor Tom Barrett - Dec 5th, 2019
- City Hall: Taylor Blames FPC Problems on Mayor - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 5th, 2019
- Senator Taylor calls for Barrett to resign over confusion and mismanagement of Fire and Police Commission - State Sen. Lena Taylor - Dec 5th, 2019
- Alderman Donovan: Fire and Police Commission dysfunction demands a thorough investigation - Ald. Bob Donovan - Dec 5th, 2019
- Public Meeting for Board of Fire and Police Commission Appointee - Mayor Tom Barrett - Dec 4th, 2019
- City Hall: Council to Review Fire & Police Commission - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 4th, 2019
- City Hall: Trouble at Fire & Police Commission? - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 2nd, 2019
- City Hall: Barrett Must Rebuild Fire & Police Board - Jeramey Jannene - May 29th, 2019
Mentioned in This Press Release
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The funding will come through a non-state grant program that provides state bonding support for non-profit or local government projects that have a statewide public purpose.
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