MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (FPC) on Thursday, Dec. 3 decided to defer the final vote in the police chief search until Dec. 10.
Malik Aziz and Hoyt Mahaley -- two of the commission's three finalists -- each received three votes. The third candidate, Chris Davis, did not receive a vote.
The commissioners were quick to praise all three finalists for their ideas, participation and resumes as they narrowed the search for Milwaukee's next top cop to two candidates.
Fresh ideas presented by the candidates included plans to implement true community policing, restore trust in the Milwaukee Police Department and make the city a safer place, as discussed by the FPC in Thursday's meeting.
Malik Aziz, Chris Davis, Hoyt Mahaley
FOX6 News asked both Aziz and Mahaley for statements regarding the FPC's latest decision. Mahaley did not respond. Aziz said:
"I remain grateful to the Fire Police Commission and all of those who have participated in this most important process. I remain thankful for the opportunity to serve and I look forward to the next step. I’m sure the wonderful citizens of Milwaukee will benefit in any outcome."
Without a consensus, though, the waiting game continues as Milwaukee looks for a permanent replacement for former Chief Alfonso Morales.
Morales was demoted and later resigned from the department earlier this year. He and his attorney later filed a lawsuit against the city, where Morales is seeking more than $600,000 in damages for breach of contract, denial of due process and harm to his reputation. In November, the city admitted that Morales was denied due process.
Since Morales' departure, Michael Brunson has served as acting chief. In October, he announced that he would be retiring from the Milwaukee Police Department in December. In October, when he announced his intent to retire, he said he plans to help with the transition to the new full-time chief before retiring.
Statement from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett:
“I would have preferred that the Commission made a decision tonight. I think what we’re seeing is the messiness of democracy in action. I remain optimistic that we will have a chief in place in line with Chief Brunson’s timetable. The Commission plans on taking this item up at the next meeting. All three candidates were extremely strong. I’m going to have more conversations with the commissioners to get a better read on why they made the decision that they did. I do want to see us have a decision made soon.”
FPC information about the finalists
Malik Aziz: Dallas Police Major was born and raised in Dallas and is currently the National Chair and Executive Director of the National Black Police Association and an instructor in Criminal Justice Police Leadership at DeSales University.
Chris Davis: Deputy Chief for the Portland Police Bureau and former Assistant Chief of operations, where he led three precincts, youth services and traffic divisions.
Hoyt Mahaley: FBI Supervisory Special Agent and former Police Officer for Milwaukee Police Department. He also attended Rufus King High School.