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Fire and Police Commission Board

The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners is a civilian body which oversees and prescribes general policies, standards, and rules in the Milwaukee Fire Department and the Milwaukee Police Department. The Commission also appoints all employees of the two public safety Departments, including the Department Chiefs. In addition to policy matters and employment functions, the Commission decides citizen complaints against Fire or Police employees. The Commission is comprised of seven part-time citizen board members, and a full-time professional staff led by an Executive Director.

The citizen board of the Commission holds regular business meetings twice each month except August, usually on the first and third Thursdays of the month, at 5.30 p.m. These meetings are open to the public, and provide an opportunity for interested persons to listen to discussion and offer comments on agenda matters. Meetings are usually held in the Common Council meeting rooms on the third floor of City Hall, but some are held in community locations. The Board also has three standing committees that meet periodically, the Committee on Complaints and Discipline, the Committee on Policies and Standards, and the Committee on Testing and Recruiting. Other committees are formed as needed.

The Commission's authority and responsibility are set forth in Wisconsin Statute 62.50 and in the Milwaukee City Charter. The seven citizen board Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor of Milwaukee and approved by the Common Council. Commissioners serve overlapping five-year terms, and receive a salary of $6,600.00 per year. The Commissioners elect a Chair and Vice-Chair. Diversity of background and experience makes the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners representative of the entire Milwaukee community.


Citizen Board Commissioners

Commissioner Kathryn Hein

Kathryn Hein was appointed to the Board in June, 2008 and elected Vice-Chair in July, 2012. Her term expires in 2018. Currently she is the Assistant Director of the Les Aspin Center for Government at Marquette University where she runs a program placing disadvantaged students in public service internships. She is also a member of the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center Board of Directors. Prior to her employment at Marquette she served as both District Director and Chief of Staff to Milwaukee Congressman Jerry Kleczka for over 20 years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. 

Commissioner Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan was appointed to the Board in June, 2009 and elected Chair in July, 2012. Her term will expire in 2015. She is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She teaches Cultural Diversity in Health Care in the undergraduate program, and Issues in Women’s Health and Development in the graduate program. Her research is focused on vulnerable populations, and she currently is working with community-dwelling elders with dementia and their family caregivers. She is a board member and academic partner of the Board of Diverse and Resilient whose mission is the healthy development of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Wisconsin. She also serves as Senior Warden, the highest lay leader, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. She is a former board member of Cream City Foundation and Eastside Senior Services and is a proud resident of Sherman Park. Sarah received her PhD in nursing in 2003 from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Bowling Green State University. She has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA One-On-One mentoring program.

Commissioner Michael M. O'Hear

Michael M. O'Hear was appointed to the Board in October, 2010. His term will expire in 2016. He is a professor and the Associate Dean for Research at Marquette Law School. He is an editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter and the author of more than forty scholarly articles on sentencing and criminal procedure. He is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School. Following law school, he clerked for United States District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven, CT. He then practiced civil and criminal litigation for three years at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in Chicago. He joined the Marquette Law School faculty in 2000, and was appointed the Law School's first Associate Dean for Research in 2008. 

Commissioner Ann Wilson

Ann Wilson was appointed to the Board in March, 2013. Her term will expire in 2017. She is the manager of the Hillside Terrace Resource Center for the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Milwaukee Area Technical College, is First Vice President of the Mission Ministry and Co-Chair of the New Members Ministry for the Canaan Baptist Church, where she has been a member for 40 years, and is Legislative Liaison of General Baptist State Convention, Inc. She is also involved in local community issues, especially housing and gun control. She was a past Executive Director of Jobs with Peace and a past Chair of the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee.


Marisabel Cabrera was appointed to the Board in June 2013. Her term will expire in 2018. Ms. Cabrera is a private immigration attorney who runs her own law office in Milwaukee. She is a member of the Council for the Spanish Speaking Board of Directors, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Voces de la Frontera. Ms. Cabrera received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law in 2002. She also graduated from the University of Madison-Wisconsin in 1998 with degrees in Latin American and Iberian Studies and Spanish.


Steven M. DeVougas was appointed to the Board in September 2013. His term expires in 2018. He is currently an attorney at Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, where he practices Labor and Employment Law and Business Litigation. Mr. DeVougas serves on the board of the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers, where he is a past president, the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, the steering committee for the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic and a coordinator for the Milwaukee Justice Center. Prior to his legal career, he worked in Investment Sales at M&I Bank, now BMO Harris. Mr. DeVougas received his Juris Doctor from Marquette University Law School in 2007. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2004, with degrees in Economics and English.


Executive Director Michael G. Tobin

Michael G. Tobin, Executive Director, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a graduate of the Wisconsin Military Academy, Wisconsin State Patrol Academy, and the Milwaukee Police Academy. He is experienced in many aspects of fire department services and law enforcement activities. He began his employment with the City of Milwaukee as a police officer. Upon graduation from law school he joined the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office as an Assistant City Attorney where he prosecuted and defended police and fire department employees for almost twenty years in state courts and administrative agencies. He served as a legal advisor for two Milwaukee police chiefs and two Milwaukee fire chiefs. He is a U.S. Army combat veteran and in 2005-2006 was appointed to manage the U.S. military program to reconstruct the civilian justice system nation-wide for the country of Afghanistan. In November, 2007 he was appointed Executive Director of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission by Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Common Council.



Revised: October 14, 2013


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City Hall
200 E. Wells Street
Room 706A
Milwaukee, WI 53202  


Phone: 414-286-5000 (24-hour message line)
Fax: 414-286-5050
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (except holidays and furlough days)

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