Media Release: Oct. 19, 2017
The Milwaukee Board of Fire and Police Commissioners was established in 1885 by state law and is one of the oldest police oversight agencies in the nation. The Commission was originally created to remove the fire and police services from the influences of politics. Until that time, in Milwaukee, as in most cities, chiefs of both departments were appointed by the mayor, who used these appointments, and the appointment of police officers, as a form of political patronage. The new law made the Fire and Police Commission responsible for setting employment standards, testing candidates for positions in the Fire and Police Departments, and appointing both chiefs. In 1911, the Commission’s authority was expanded to include all aspects of operational oversight of the Fire and Police Departments. The Commission’s authority and responsibility are specified in Wisconsin Statute section 62.50, and in the Milwaukee City Charter.
As Executive Director of the Fire and Police Commission, changing the core function of the FPC’s ability to appoint and remove any police officer, including the Chief, would go against the core mission of keeping our protected services away from the influences of politics. The FPC is comprised of seven diverse community members and reflects the voice of Milwaukee. We also have a robust citizen complaint process that investigates any resident’s complaint against any member, including the Chief. To be consistent with State Law and the wisdom of our forefathers, the methods we employ to investigate wrongdoing and misconduct of any officer, including the Chief, should continue to be utilized for due process, fairness, and justice.
MaryNell Regan, Executive Director
Upon recently approving changes to the MPD's vehicle pursuit policy, the Fire and Police Commission sent a letter to the Chair of the Public Safety and Health Committee urging further action towards combatting reckless driving.
||The Fire and Police Commission (FPC) recently received a commendation from two community partners, commenting on the quality and character of FPC commissioners and staff and expressing support for the FPC’s statutory responsibilities.
This document provides answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the investigatory process that occurs whenever there is an officer-involved death involving a Milwaukee Police Department member.
Update Regarding Residency
On July 26, 2016 the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee adopted legislation that imposes a residency requirement on law enforcement, fire, and designated emergency personnel to reside within 15 miles of the jurisdictional boundaries of the City. This charter ordinance, adopted pursuant to Wis. Stat. Sec. 66.0502 (4)(b), applies to all sworn members of the departments and provides that the Fire and Police Commission (FPC) designate “emergency personnel.” This legislation will become effective October 11, 2016.
The FPC recently updated its rules to be in compliance with the charter ordinance. The following positions have been designated as emergency personnel: Police Information Systems Director, Emergency Communications Manager, Communications Systems Manager, and Police Facilities Manager; and Fire Technical Services Manager, Fire Dispatch Manager, Fire Equipment Repairs Manager, and Fire Equipment Repairs Supervisor. The positions of Police Aide and Fire Cadet are also designated as emergency personnel.
All employees hired into a position subject to this residency requirement, any incumbent sworn employee, or any civilian who at any time has his/her position designated as subject to this residency requirement, shall be granted a period of time not to exceed six months from the date of hire or the date upon which the designation becomes effective to become compliant with the requirement. Consistent with Sections 5.02-5 and 5.02-6 of the Charter, eligible employees may pursue extensions and hardship exceptions with the FPC.
Additionally, a searchable map has been developed by the FPC and the City’s Information Technology Management Division depicting the 15 mile boundary.