Milwaukee, which is seeking a new police chief, typically has promoted from within. The city’s Journal Sentinel says that with the exception of Philip Arreola, the chiefs in modern history have come from within the ranks. During the last selection, when a commission picked retiring Nannette Hegerty in 2003, no outside candidates made it to the finalist pool. “There absolutely is no list in my mind right now,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. He said a national search would be done and that he personally would interview candidates.
As in many cities, violent crime has increased in Milwaukee. Also, there has been a rash of misconduct among officers. Those factors likely won’t deter applicants, according to experts in police chief searches, who suggest there will be no shortage of interest in Milwaukee. “There is always interest in a major city job for a lot reasons. These (candidates) are people who like challenges, and they want to effect change,” said Elaine Deck of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The first task for officials is to figure out what kind of chief they want – Caretaker? Reformer? Futurist? – and then pick the best way to find that person, the experts said. The search for Hegerty’s successor should be less contentious than in 2003, when she was chosen to replace Chief Arthur Jones, who had a long-running battle with the commission and then-Mayor John Norquist.