James MacGillis appointed Wauwatosa's new police chief

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- After a four-month search, Wauwatosa has picked a new police chief.

James MacGillis, a retired training director from the Milwaukee police force, will start in late July.

The Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission decided 4-1 on choosing MacGillis, with one commissioner casting their vote for Acting Milwaukee Chief Jeffrey Norman.

"This was not an easy process, this is a different day and age that we are hiring police chiefs," said Commissioner Danielle Basil Long.

She said MacGillis provided the balance she was looking for.

"He talked about the importance of bridging policing and community relations, while balancing public safety interests," said Long.

Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair Sean Lowe said he's looking forward to working with the new chief, but he said the commission missed the mark by picking another white man.

"I think that's a hard pill to swallow for people of color when we're saying well, you asked us to be a part of the process," said Lowe.

The police union supported the choice, saying in part:

"Chief MacGillis has an impressive background and strong ties to the City of Wauwatosa. We are confident in his ability to lead this department..." wrote Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association President John Milotzky.

Mayor Dennis McBride has been watching this process unfold like everyone else. He said the commission gathered a ton of input from the community.

"We had a lot of citizen input, something like 157 people or something, we had a lot of survey responses, we had elected officials involved in focus groups, business people, residents," said McBride.

The job will soon be in the hands of Chief MacGillis.

"I'm looking forward to working with internal and community stakeholders to keep Wauwatosa a safe and vibrant community for all people," said MacGillis.

He starts the new job July 26. The commission said there are some formalities to complete between now and then.

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