'He is the man for the job:' City leaders react to FPC inviting Acting Chief Norman for permanent chief position

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- City leaders expressed approval and support for the Fire and Police Commission's decision to invite Acting Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman as the only applicant for the permanent position.

The FPC voted 6-0 Thursday night to move ahead with the applicant process with Norman, who has held the acting chief position since December of 2020.

"I think he deserves to demonstrate that he deserves to get the full-time job," FPC chair Ed Fallone told CBS 58 in an interview.

The process will include community listening sessions as well as face-to-face meetings with FPC members.

"We'll have questions, I'm sure, specifically on topics where we want to hear a direct answer, how are you going to address this particular problem."

Leaders at City Hall praised the decision.

"I'm just happy that it turned out this way because I think he is the man for the job and I think the FPC made the right choice," Common Council President Cavalier Johnson said.

Johnson believes Norman has demonstrated he is qualified for the position.

"Jeff Norman is kind of like the needle in the haystack and we have him and we want to keep him here in the city, leading the department, creating stability for MPD and for our community as well," Johnson said.

Other council members echoed the sentiment.

"I think the city is ready to stabilize this police force," Ald. Ashanti Hamilton said. "I like the direction Chief Norman has been going in, with bringing in the community, identifying some reforms within the department that can be embraced."

Activists say Norman has challenges ahead of him but has been open to hearing from the community.

"He's willing to do the job, he wants to do the job and again, as far as the past chiefs we've had, he definitely is the better choice," activist Vaun Mayes said.

Milwaukee police sent CBS 58 the following statement on Norman's reaction to the FPC decision:

"Acting Chief Jeffrey Norman appreciates the opportunity and is excited to participate in the process to become the permanent chief of the Milwaukee Police Department. Acting Chief Norman and the entire Milwaukee Police Department remain committed to working with the community and system partners to continue to build sustainable neighborhoods free of crime that are built on positive relationships."

The interviews with the FPC and community listening sessions will take place over the course of the next few months with the hope the commission will vote to make Norman permanent chief at its November meeting.

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