CBS 58 Exclusive: Milwaukee Police Chief Morales talks about his future
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales sat down exclusively with CBS 58 on Wednesday, Nov. 13 to talk about his future.
For the past two years, Chief Alfonso Morales has been leading the City of Milwaukee Police Department. But his contract is up next month. As his future with the department hangs in the air, he's still doing his best to fight crime in our city.
Milwaukee's top cop says he wants to keep his job. He says there's more to do, and he's the one to do it.
"I'm almost two years into it, and we are just at the tipping point of making some great strides to leave the department a better place than what it was when I took over," Morales said. "And that's important because that's the main goal of any leader of a police department."
Chief Morales says crime has fallen during his last two years in charge, and he credits the public with having more trust in his department. From when he started two years ago, they've made major changes to the department and their strategies, saying crime is down in part due to the community's participation.
"To have that level of participation, it shows that they are believing in us," he said. "And at the same time, it helps our police officers to understand that we believe in them and vice versa."
Morales has focused on decreasing shootings and murders. He's also focusing on protecting children. But he's frustrated that high profile crimes like the hit-and-run crash that killed two children tarnish the city's efforts.
"This is the hardest thing to say -- our hit-and-runs and our crashes are heading in the right direction," Morales said. "But I say that also saying it's still a big deal when you have children being hit. And we've had that happen in the last three weeks. When you have that type of incident happen, it doesn't matter what direction you're going, it's still a problem."
Morales says his most important job is to make people feel safe in this city. But he says isolated crimes, like the acid attack against a Latino man, hurt the city's image.
"We addressed it as rapidly as possible, charges were placed upon the individual as quickly as possible," he said. "But my job is to continue to bring upon the relationships with our community to really reduce fear."
As someone who was born and raised in the city, Morales says he's seen it change over the years.
"I feel an obligation to give back to the city of Milwaukee which has done so much for me," he said.
He acknowledged MPD's staffing has been challenging, but that hasn't stopped them from fighting to give residents their best. And he wants to finish what he's started.
"And that's where I need a couple more years to do that, and that's where I'm seeking another term -- is to see how far we can go," Morales said.
The Fire and Police Commission meets Thursday, Nov. 14. The only thing on the agenda is contract negotiations for police chief.
For Milwaukee crime maps and statistics, click here.
Watch the full interview in English just below:
Watch the full interview in Spanish just below: