With plenty of talk of pro-activity, sensitivity and relationship-building, the five finalists for Milwaukee police chief jockeyed for position night, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. For nearly five hours, the five took questions from community leaders and residents. Much like in a political debate, the impression each finalist left in terms of poise and presence may become more important than answers to any question.
Deputy Inspectors Denita Ball and Ramon Galaviz came off as steady, experienced hands; Capt. James Harpole, as a determined up-and-comer. Most eyes were sizing up the two outsiders, as the city has only once turned to an outsider as chief. Leonard Supenski, the former chief in Ypsilanti, Mich., presented himself as a no-nonsense, old-school cop. Edward Flynn, police commissioner in Springfield, Ma., displayed a confident polish. With no declared re-election opponent, Mayor Tom Barrett will be able to look long-term with his appointment, unworried about political calculations – internal vs. external, male vs. female, minority vs. white. The commission hopes to announce its choice in early November. Chief Nannette Hegerty’s term ends Nov. 16.