Milwaukee FPC 'committed to working with' Morales, says he will return as top cop next week
The city faced a July 12 deadline to either settle with Morales or reinstate him as police chief. On Friday, the commission announced it would move forward with giving Morales his old job back.
"The Milwaukee Police Department is managing significant internal and external challenges," the FPC wrote in a statement. "The Fire and Police Commission is committed to working with Mr. Morales and the community to address these challenges and increase both safety and justice in Milwaukee."
While originally set for a July 12 return, the commission said it would push the date back to July 15 in order to coincide with the FPC's next meeting which will feature, for the first time, its newly approved commissioners.
City officials told CBS 58 earlier in the week there was a window of opportunity to settle with Morales and his legal team, but negotiations eventually came to a halt.
Dale Bormann, the president of the Milwaukee Police Association -- the city's police union -- told CBS 58 he was 99 percent sure Morales would return to his job next week, but cautioned the city could reach a last-minute deal before he is reinstated.
Community activists, like Vaun Mayes, said they were disappointed to hear of the FPC's decision.
"It's just a failure for the city as a whole," Mayes said.
Mayes added he hopes the FPC provides opportunities for community members to keep Morales accountable for issues he says ultimately led to his demotion last year.
"Host a community conversation about this specific issue, so they can hear the voice of the people and make a decision based on that," Mayes said. "But to just allow [Morales] to resume as if it's business as usual and nothing ever happened is not going to go well for the city at all."
Mayes said community members plan on keeping scrutiny on Morales when he returns.
"The chief should expect more of what he got before he left," Mayes said.
A spokesperson for Mayor Tom Barrett's office said there was no comment beyond what was said by the FPC on Friday.
"On May 19, 2021, Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Christopher Foley ordered that Alfonso Morales be reinstated as Chief of Police of the City of Milwaukee Police Department. That reinstatement was subsequently stayed until July 12, 2021.
Mr. Morales, the City of Milwaukee, and the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners have agreed to further extend Mr. Morales’ reinstatement from July 12, 2021 to July 15, 2021. This extension has been agreed to so that Mr. Morales’ return date coincides with the next meeting of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, at which three new commissioners will begin their service on the FPC Board."
Read the original statement below:
"On May 19, 2021, Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Christopher Foley ordered that Alfonso Morales be reinstated as Chief of Police of the City of Milwaukee Police Department. There instatement was subsequently stayed until Monday, July 12, 2021. In accordance with Judge Foley’s order, Mr. Morales will be reinstated as Chief of Police on July 12, 2021.
The Milwaukee Police Department is managing significant internal and external challenges. The Fire and Police Commission is committed to working with Mr. Morales and the community to address these challenges and increase both safety and justice in Milwaukee."