Robert Wasson 1882-1884
Chief Robert Wasson was appointed after William Beck's third and last term, following Mayor J.S. Brown's defeat in what was described as a "colorful" election. Chief Wasson had served as a Deputy Sheriff in 1856 and in 1858 was listed as both Deputy and Coroner.
Police signal boxes went into operation in 1883, improving communication, which is always a necessity in law enforcement.
The original ordinance establishing the Milwaukee Police Department gave the Mayor the authority to appoint the Chief of Police. Therefore, when a new Mayer was elected, it was common for the Chief and a number of his men, to resign before they were dismissed. The Mayor then appointed "his" men. This "political spoils" system of frequent personnel changes resulted in many unsolved crimes. This practice would continue until 1885.