'The nation is watching:' Chief Morales, Milwaukee residents candidly discuss public safety

MILWAUKEE -- A conversation with Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales unraveled Jan. 22. The community got a chance to sit down with Chief Morales for a candid talk about public safety.

Alfonso Morales

"I am your police chief. I'll tell you this, we don't accomplish things by one individual alone," Chief Morales said.

At the Unity Gospel House of Prayer, the community conversation took a turn. It was supposed to be a question-and-answer session -- one of two as part of Chief Morales' reappointment.

"Milwaukee is something to be proud of and the leadership here, we have to work together to show that Milwaukee shines," said Chief Morales.

Elizabeth Brown

As Chief Morales touted lower crime rates and better community relations, others voiced frustrations.

"The questions that have been asked, you gave a lot of wording, but just like everything else in Milwaukee, it's a meeting to have a meeting," said Milwaukee resident Elizabeth Brown. "But no results."

Alfonso Morales

Many were upset that they weren't able to ask questions, while others were not happy with the answers -- including State Senator Lena Taylor.

Lena Taylor

"Are you in compliance with the ACLU recommendations? You are not," said State Sen. Taylor. "Are you in compliance with the DOJ recommendations? You are not."

An event meant to bring Chief Morales and the community closer did not live up to the promise for some.

"The nation is watching. Are we going to sit here and continue to harp? Because I'm upset about a lot of things that happened in the fall as well," said Chief Morales. "But we're going to move forward as a community and as a police department.

"We have to show that we are together. The nation is watching and I'm going to say that. We are in the national spotlight, come on, we can be better."

Chief Morales left Wednesday night's event without answering questions from the assembled media. Another event will be held on Monday, Jan. 27 on the city's south side.