MPD chief candidates interviewed by Fire and Police Commission; two commissioners choose not to participate

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission has been interviewing the six candidates that want to be Milwaukee's Police Chief Monday night. 

The interviews have been conducted in closed session, a change from the public format the commission chair had announced early on in the process. 

Two of the commissioners, including Chairman Nelson Soler, said they were not going to be part of the interview process because they were not being done in public. 

"I am still objecting to any of this being done in closed session and will wait until the candidates that are chosen by the board are brought forward and then questioned in open session by the community," said Vice Chair Angela McKenzie. 

The first candidate to be interviewed was Assistant Chief Jeffrey Norman, the only candidate from the Milwaukee Police Department. 

The other five candidates are from around the country, including Hoyt Mahaley with the FBI; Jason Lando with the Pittsburgh Police Department; Malik Aziz with the Dallas Police Department; John Pate, a city manager and director of public safety in Opa-Locka, Florida; and Chris Davis with the Portland Police Department. 

"Somebody who is definitely in line with community-oriented policing and how those principles will be incorporated," Damien Smith said about what he is looking for in the next chief as a member of the Community Collaborative Commission, "A plan to work with individuals, community groups, public and private organizations. I think that’s key, I think those are things that haven’t happened robustly - like, ever."

The Community Collaborative Commission is working to create a new community police strategy. 

"There’s a lot of rebuilding that needs to happen and so there’s an immediate concern that need to be addressed right off the bat, they gotta hit the ground running," he said. 

The top three candidates will be interviewed in public. The Fire and Police Commission has not said when they'll announce the top three. 

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