Council members suggest Fire and Police Commission might retain counsel to fight Police Chief on pursuit policy
Just hours before the scheduled Fire and Police Commission meeting Thursday, 10 Milwaukee Alderman issued a statement doubling down on demands that Police Chief Ed Flynn expand his pursuit policy.
In the letter they state that "What is certain is that the Board is entitled to legal representation and we stand ready to do what is necessary, including providing resources to secure outside counsel, to ensure that it has it. The Commission acted boldly and, in our judgement, correctly when it issued its directive to Chief Flynn."
As first reported by the CBS 58 News at 4, the chief is adding for an extension of the July 27th deadline issued by the FPC while he was vacation.
It threatens actions against him if he does not loosen the criteria for pursuits beyond the current belief that a violent felon is inside or the vehicle is suspected of being involved in a violent felony.
Chief Flynn has retained outside counsel, at his own expense, and has also asked the office of the City Attorney some specific questions about the directive.
The Chief is scheduled to face the commission for the first time Thursday night since the controversy.
"I'm at peace," Chief Flynn tells CBs 58 News. "I know I did everything I was supposed to do. I know I followed the rules. I know my policy on pursuits is appropriate. I don't know why it was represented as recalcitrant when I was advocating for a policy that's become the gold standard."
Chief Flynn says at a sub-committee meeting on the issue he spoke for 90 minutes about why he believes in the policy he established after an especially bad year for chases in Milwaukee when four innocent people were killed.
He said nobody every told him they had a problem with the policy. They just asked if he would change it.
"I recognize I operate under authority and if we're going to craft changes, I want to be part of those changes. So, they're responsible and professional."
Chief Flynn acknowledges that throughout his tenure in Milwaukee somebody has always been angry with him about something.
But this is the first time he's witnessed a break down in communication with the FPC.
Flynn has been serving as Chief of Police since 2008.
When the commission gave him the second contract, that was the first time for a chief in Milwaukee in nearly 30 years.
His third and current contract is until 2020.
"I'm a positive person," insists the chief. "This is an important job at a difficult time. More difficult being a chief in my 30 year career. I've lost numerous friends to getting fired or forced from office in the last few years because the police have become a flash point for everybody's frustrations about every thing. I've got something to contribute. And I'd like to keep doing it."