‘Committed to the community:’ Alfonso Morales named interim chief of police at MPD

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Department will have Alfonso Morales leading the force -- at least for now. In a narrow 4-3 vote, the Fire and Police Commission (FPC) on Thursday, Feb. 15 named Morales -- one of two candidates -- interim Milwaukee police chief.

Alfonso Morales will take over when Police Chief Ed Flynn leaves the post on Friday, Feb. 16.

"We are committed to the community and we are going to show that," said Morales.

Alfonso Morales

Morales will take over for current Chief Ed Flynn, who, after ten years in office, announced his retirement in January.

Ed Flynn

"I think we are going to see a new level of enthusiasm and excitement in the police department," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Morales started with the department back in 1993. In 1999, he was promoted to detective. Morales has overseen several divisions, including the department's Gang Crimes Unit and Homicide Unit.

"I hope that he is willing to work with the community, work with the commission and also inspire the rank-and-file," said FPC Chairman, Steven DeVougas.

Michael Brunson

Both Morales, and Inspector Michael Brunson -- who also applied for the job -- will be eligible to apply for permanent chief.

"I haven't determined that yet. Right now, I'm focused on doing my job and moving forward," said Brunson.

In recent weeks, Flynn became openly critical of the selection process, backing the other candidate, Assistant Chief James Harpole, for his replacement. Harpole withdrew from the process unexpectedly, and also announced his retirement.

Assistant Chief James Harpole, Inspector Michael Brunson and Captain Alfonso Morales

Alfonso Morales

FPC Chairman, Steven DeVougas, says Flynn was invited to be part of this process.

"He declined an exit interview with me," DeVougas said. "He declined having a review. His time to be involved in this process has passed. He's old news. We turn a new page and go to a new chapter."

It hasn't been decided how long Morales will serve as interim. Flynn still had two years left on his contract.