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Fire and Police Commission’s Executive Director says she’s not backing down despite criticism

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A day after a contentious hearing at city hall, we heard exclusively Friday from the executive director of Milwaukee’s Fire and Police Commission.

We've also learned the city is now looking into concerns raised about the commission.

Some have wondered if the executive director, Griselda Aldrete, is up to the job.

Many present at the open session questioned her policies and personnel decisions.

We asked her if she's thought about resigning.

"I would be too rushed to make that decision at this moment," she said.

Fire and Police Commission executive director Griselda Aldrete isn't backing down amidst growing criticism about her past four months on the job.

“There is a lot to this job that I don’t think people understand,” said Aldrete. “I quickly wanted to assess the department and make the necessary changes, to make us accountable, and make sure that we rebuild the trust in this office that I think has been lost for some time.”

Changes that she says have faced resistance.

At Thursday’s meeting, aldermen questioned her ability to lead a half-staffed department, and her handling of employee badges that were never deactivated.

But Aldrete says under new leadership, growing pains are to be expected.

“I think it was an opportunity for us to have a deeper conversation and ask some really crucial questions to really get an understanding of how we’re making decisions, why policy changes had to be made,” said Aldrete.

The FPC has a complex job, tasked with not only staffing fire and police departments, but running internal investigations, and handling citizen complaints among others.

Aldrete says criticism comes with being in a public role, but she has some strong supporters in her corner.

“Very supportive of our executive director, Griselda Aldrete, who I think is doing a very very professional job and really working to have more accountability and transparency,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.

Aldrete saying she knows her position is critical for the city, and she’s willing to work hard to get the job done.

“I think people just need to give me a fair shot, and support the work that we’re trying to do, and we’re collaboratively together because I think the one thing we can all agree on is that we want to feel safe in the city that we live in.”

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