FPC votes to appoint Jeffrey Norman as chief of the Milwaukee Police Department

NOW: FPC votes to appoint Jeffrey Norman as chief of the Milwaukee Police Department

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- In a vote Thursday night, Nov. 4, Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission (FPC) voted unanimously to appoint Acting Police Chief Jeffrey Norman to the permanent position. 

It's been more than 14 months since the Milwaukee Police Department has had a permanent police chief. It's been a long process, but a thorough one, as evidenced by how smoothly the appointment.

"Based upon the unanimous vote of the Fire and Police Commission, the motion carries," said Milwaukee FPC Chairman Edward Fallone.

Milwaukee has a new police chief, but he's not new to Milwaukee. 

"The experience he brings from those 25 years, and working himself up through the ranks, is invaluable, and I really believe he's going to do a great job," said Sue Beay, Milwaukee resident.

The emotion could be heard in his voice moments after the vote, as Milwaukee's new Chief Norman thanked commissioners.

"I am absolutely pleased, honored and deeply humbled by the board's unanimous support," Norman said.

Norman was named the second acting chief last December, four months after the FPC demoted former chief Alfonso Morales, who eventually received a settlement from the city and went on to become police chief in Fitchburg. 

"He knows the city. He's not shying away from the issue. He could've went somewhere else, you know, to a quieter town like Fitchburg," said Tom Beay, Milwaukee resident.

Norman was on the hot seat at four different public hearings in recent months, answering five hours' worth of questions from community members.

"For the past three months, the residents of the city have engaged in an extensive public discussion on policing priorities," said Fallone.

But Thursday night, no one appeared during public comment. Commissioners came to the meeting ready to say yes to a man who's served as the acting police chief since late last year.

"Has he made mistakes? Yes. Is he gonna make some more? Absolutely. By the way, so am I, and so is everybody else, and I just think at this time, at least we know what we got," said FPC Commissioner Ann Wilson.

Norman will serve a four-year term beginning the first day he takes office.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Friday, Nov. 5, released the following statement:

“I congratulate Chief Jeffrey Norman for earning approval to lead the Milwaukee Police Department over the next four years. Chief Norman is an accomplished leader with a notable breadth of experience.

“I also appreciate the work of the Fire and Police Commission as it brought this extended process to a conclusion. Commission members were thoughtful and diligent in their deliberations that wrapped up last evening.

“There is significant and important work ahead to reduce violence, to curtail reckless driving, and to assure policing in Milwaukee is constitutional and respectful. I look forward to working with Chief Norman to make certain the people of Milwaukee have top quality public safety services.”

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