Recruitment #2008-5564-001


As a member of the Mayor’s Cabinet, the Fire and Police Commission Executive Director is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Mayor; the appointment of the Fire and Police Commission Executive Director requires confirmation by the Common Council.


Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is an urban hub bursting with energy. Milwaukee provides a casual sophistication – big city appeal without the big-city hassles. We are accessible and affordable, and our residents are welcoming. Milwaukee brings together its unsurpassed old world charm with a breathtaking art museum, top-flight arts and cultural attractions, professional sports, lakefront festivals, recreational opportunities and great restaurants.


The Fire and Police Commission (FPC) was established in 1885 by state law and is one of the oldest police oversight agencies in the nation. The Commission’s authority and responsibility are set forth in Wisconsin Statute Section 62.50, the Milwaukee City Charter Chapter 22.10, and the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances Chapter 314. The current seven citizen board members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Common Council; by Ordinance; the Board may be comprised of up to nine members.

The Commission’s primary responsibility is policy oversight, including monitoring and prescribing the policies and standards of both the Fire and Police Departments. This oversight authority is exercised by Board action and regular audit and research relative to the Fire and Police department operational initiatives and disciplinary actions. The Commission also conducts ongoing analysis of the Milwaukee Police Department’s use of force incidents and uses the information as a foundation for policy and training improvement. Other functions of the Commission include:

  • Provide leadership, guidance and coordination in public safety matters with the Milwaukee Fire and Police Departments;
  • Establish recruitment and testing standards for positions; appoint all employees of the two public safety departments;
  • Hear appeals by members of the Fire and Police departments who have been disciplined by their Chief;
  • Independently investigate and monitor citizen complaints and, at times, discipline members for misconduct;
  • Direct, review and evaluate on-going research, analysis and audits relative to the Fire and Police Departments operational initiatives and disciplinary actions, using the information for policy and training improvement within the two public safety departments. 

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission is a member of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) and has adopted its Code of Ethics. For more information, visit


As a member of the Mayor’s cabinet and as chief administrator of the functions performed by the citizen Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, the Fire and Police Commission (FPC) Executive Director is responsible for all policy, financial, operational, and strategic matters of the Fire and Police Commission Department.


Priorities of the Fire and Police Commission Executive Director currently include:

  • Development of policies and practices that promote positive relationships with and engagement from the community. Seeking to improve relations between the police department and the community, the Commission continues to develop policy initiatives as outlined in the DOJ Report, the Collins, et al. Settlement Agreement, and other national policing best practices.
  • Utilization of the Milwaukee Collaborative Reform Initiative to ensure the community’s voice is heard regarding issues and solutions. The Fire and Police Commission has engaged the community by posting the draft DOJ Report online, with an accompanying web portal to be used as a vehicle for residents to discuss the DOJ recommendations and propose solutions. A link to the portal can be found here:
  • Integration of communications systems and enhancement of emergency management services. The Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and Emergency Communications reports to the Executive Director to better reflect the needs of the City. Upcoming related efforts will include creating an Office of Emergency Management and Communications that will oversee all aspects of emergency management, including radios, the upgrade of the City of Milwaukee’s 911 system and the integration of the CAD system.

Essential Functions

  • Monitor daily operations of the fire and police departments, and provide administrative, policy, and operational leadership, guidance, and expert advice to the citizen board, mayor, police chief, fire chief, public officials, and community members.
  • Provide guidance and direction to staff and professional consultants in the administration and execution of all recruitment, testing, and hiring functions and activities of the police and fire departments, in accordance with applicable state statutes and FPC rules.
  • Manage the citizen complaint program, audit police internal investigations, personnel files and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), perform independent investigations of police misconduct, advise and direct internal affairs and commission investigators during investigations of misconduct, oversee the mediation of specified complaints, and determine the final disposition or referral for adjudication.
  • Oversee continued compliance efforts in relation to City-wide litigation, namely the Collins, et al. Settlement Agreement.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships and serve as the point of contact and public information liaison for news media, community members, elected officials, and other diverse public and private agencies.
  • Serve as chief administrator for the citizen Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. Guide board members and develop the board agenda in carrying out its statutory functions of overseeing and exercising final authority on all aspects of civilian oversight of the policies, discipline, organization, hiring and promotion, and daily operations of the police and fire departments.
  • Review and analyze all aspects of personnel management, test development and examinations, hiring and promotions, disciplinary actions, and monitoring of the daily operations, policies, and training of the fire and police departments.
  • Oversee the disciplinary appeals process and quasi-judicial administrative hearings for all sworn and civilian employees.
  • Manage the daily operations of the department, including budget development and administration, personnel management, and supervision of staff.
  • Oversee the operations of the City of Milwaukee Office of Emergency Management and Communications, including disaster preparedness and response. Provide oversight of the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) and other multi-million-dollar federal grant allocations and expenditures. Manage the 911 system upgrade and the city-wide CAD consolidation project.
  • Manage Open Records Requests.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice, public administration, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university required. A Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school is highly desirable.
  2. Five years of managerial experience (i.e., at the director or manager level) in a civilian oversight body, a criminal justice-related organization, investigative, or legal setting performing work relating to this position.
  3. Experience working with multicultural/multiethnic communities and demonstrated success in bridging community and institutional concerns about fairness and justice issues.
  4. Valid driver’s license at time of appointment and throughout employment.

Equivalent combinations of education and experience that provide the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job will be considered.

IMPORTANT NOTE: College and law school transcripts are required and must be emailed as an attachment to by the application closing date and time. Student/unofficial copies are acceptable; however, your transcript must be legible and include your college/university name, your name, the degree completed, and the date completed.

Knowledges, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics


  • Principles and practices of program planning, management, administration, and budgeting.
  • Principles of criminal law, constitutional law, and law enforcement liability.
  • Principles of law enforcement policy development and evaluation, training and instruction, and work performance assessments.
  • Relevant employment laws, including discrimination and labor laws, relevant administrative rules, and effective disciplinary policies and procedures.
  • Public records and open meetings laws.
  • Methods and techniques of research, policy review, data analysis, and evaluation.
  • Principles and practices relative to the intake and review of complaints and methods of complaint resolution.
  • The capabilities of information technology to improve organizational effectiveness.


  • Take responsibility for program/policy development, implementation, and monitoring activities.
  • Establish long-range objectives, strategies, and actions to achieve those objectives.
  • Identify measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance.
  • Oversee and monitor the investigation of sensitive matters in unionized public agencies.
  • Express ideas clearly and confidently one-on-one and before groups, committees, and the media.
  • Write effectively for a variety of audiences.
  • Establish effective working relationships with diverse members of the public, colleagues, elected officials, and representatives of various agencies.
  • Oversee the development and execution of community outreach plans.


  • Exercise strong executive-level leadership and function successfully as a cabinet member in a challenging political, fiscal, and legal environment.
  • Work independently, fairly, and objectively among opposing interests.
  • Facilitate, mediate, and resolve complex and sensitive issues brought forth by concerned individuals.
  • Define issues, analyze problems, evaluate alternatives, and develop sound conclusions and recommendations in accordance with laws, regulations, rules, and policies.
  • Plan, organize, set priorities, and exercise judgment within area of responsibility.
  • Build a successful team through effective hiring, management, training, and coaching.
  • Understand and interpret City rules, regulations, policies, and procedures and local, state, and federal legislation pertaining to areas of assigned responsibility.
  • Serve the public with honesty and integrity.

Current Salary

The current salary range (1NX) is $103,841-$145,382 and the resident incentive salary for City of Milwaukee residents is $106,956-$147,336. Appointment above the minimum is possible based upon level of experience and other qualifications and is subject to approval.

The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program that includes the following:

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Paid Vacation
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Leave and other paid leaves
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit

Selection Process


  • Screening for this position will be based on an evaluation of each applicant’s education, experience, and professional accomplishments, which should be detailed in a cover letter and resume. The most qualified candidate or candidates will participate in an interview process, which may include community engagement sessions.
  • Please send the cover letter, resume, and college and transcripts via email to by Monday, August 24, 2020.
  • Please indicate “Fire and Police Commission Executive Director” in the subject line.
  • Questions relative to the selection process may be directed to Kristin Hennessy Urban by calling 414.286.8643.

The City of Milwaukee reserves the right to invite only the most qualified applicants to participate in the selection process.

INITIAL FILING DATE: The selection process will be conducted as soon as practical after Monday, August 24, 2020. Receipt of application materials may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice. However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.


The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.