Harold Breier 1964-1984
Chief Harold Breier began his career as a patrolman in 1940 and rose through the Detective Bureau ranks to Inspector of Detectives. He was appointed Chief over 63 other candidates who had applied nationwide. A patrolman's salary was $5,694 in 1964 and five years later, the Department had grown to 2,256 members, serving a population of over 800,000. The Tactical Enforcement Unit was established by Breier in 1967.
"Citizen cooperation" was an important concept to this Chief and was emphasized in almost every speech he made. He often credited the citizens with helping to maintain Milwaukee's low crime rate.
Chief Breier had a reputation as controversial and tough and was considered a "law and order" Chief. He was often compared to FBI Direct J. Edgar Hoover. When one of "his men" was seriously injured in the line of duty, it was common for him to go to the hospital and visit that officer personally.
He led the Department for 20 year and retired in 1984, the same year that the State Senate Bill #56 was passed, conferring more power over the operation of the Milwaukee Police Department to the Fire and Police Commission