There are currently two vacancies on the City of Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (“FPC”), the Board charged with oversight of the Milwaukee Police Department (“MPD”). Mayor Tom Barrett nominated Ann Wilson for one the vacancies. Although Ms. Wilson is a City of Milwaukee employee, the Milwaukee Common Council’s Public Safety Committee approved her nomination. The full Common Council will vote on Ms. Wilson’s nomination on February 5, 2013. Read more about the appointment of Ms. Wilson to the FPC in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.
The civil rights lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. are concerned that a City of Milwaukee employee is being appointed to the FPC. While we are not questioning Ms. Wilson’s integrity, we believe that just the appearance of a conflict of interest will cause citizens to question whether Ms. Wilson can effectively monitor the MPD when she works for the City. Back in 2006, police experts recommended that an independent monitor be appointed to oversee the activities of the FPC. We believe that an independent monitor is necessary, so that the citizens of Milwaukee can have confidence that there is effective oversight of the MPD.