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Public to weigh in on Fire & Police Comm. Friday

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he's getting closer to making an appointment to fill vacancies within Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission. This, as the makeup and decision-making of the Commission has recently come under fire. On Friday, December 14th, the public will have a chance to weigh in on the powerful board that oversees the Milwaukee Police Department.

Filling two vacancies within the FPC is getting a lot of attention due to the Commission's recent decision-making. A decision to re-instate fired Milwaukee Police Officer Richard Schoen caused public outcry, at which time the FPC decided it would review its decision. Then, the FPC determined Schoen would be permanently fired. 

Schoen was seen on squad car dashcam video punching a handcuffed woman in his squad car, and later dragging her out of the squad car by her hair, inside a Milwaukee police district garage. 

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he hopes to have his appointment for one of the two vacancies within the Commission ready by the end of the year. That person is now going through background checks through the Commission and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

Meanwhile, state Senator Lena Taylor (D - Milwaukee) is hosting a public hearing on Friday, December 14th to get input regarding the FPC. Earlier this week, four Milwaukee aldermen issued a statement asking for more community involvement.

"One of the things we hope to do is encourage the mayor in his process to include citizen input. If there are names of individuals that people think should be appointed to the Fire and Police Commission, we're looking forward to taking that information so we can share those," Sen. Taylor said.

Mayor Barrett says he welcomes the input of all. 

"I think the whole process entails some public involvement. After the selection is made, the council will then vet those individuals as they should, but I certainly, during the course of choosing the individuals talk to a lot of community members and talk to a lot of individuals who have suggestions for people. I welcome input from people for all commissions and all boards because we want to have the best representation possible for any of the boards," Mayor Barrett said.

The public meeting will be held Friday at the NCAAP offices on MLK Drive at 4:00 p.m. The FPC's director will be on hand to take feedback back to the current citizen board.