Citizen panels in Wauwatosa have taken the first steps toward hiring a new police chief in the city. Controversial longtime Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber announced this week that he'll retire in June.
Thursday night, the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission voted to hire a consultant to help them with the hiring process to replace Weber.
The consultant is the Washington D.C.-based Center for Public Safety Management. Center Director Leonard Matarese said finding candidates will be harder than it used to be.
"What we've seen is a dramatic reduction in people applying for police chief jobs. That's probably caused by several issues — obviously, policing is getting much more difficult under the current environment,” he said.
Matarese added that some high-ranking officers working elsewhere don't want to step away from what's probably a good pension system.
Still, someone will take over as Wauwatosa police chief, and a citizen advisory panel — the Equity and Inclusion Commission — sent the Police and Fire Commission a letter spelling out what they'd like to see.
Equity and Inclusion Commission member Darla Hium said she's looking for a candidate committed to change and "improving relationships and improving the policing strategies in Wauwatosa."
Local attorney Kim Motley, who represents three families whose sons were killed by a Wauwatosa police officer in the space of five years, asked the Equity and Inclusion Commission for local and federal investigations into outgoing Chief Weber.