‘I want him to stay:’ Mayor Barrett, Chief Morales deny reports police chief is in danger of being fired

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Monday, Sept. 23 refuted rumors he wants to replace Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales. This, following reports Mayor Barrett wants to see Chief Morales go -- for the second time in a month.

Mayor Barrett called the reports false, and said he supports Chief Morales. This, following the second report in a month from WISN-AM Radio that indicated Mayor Barrett was looking to replace Chief Morales.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

"I want him to stay," said Mayor Barrett.

According to the WISN-AM Radio report Monday, Morales' contract is up in January -- and he has not been offered a new contact by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, which is controlled by the mayor.

"A number of sources even going so far as to say that it's a done deal -- that Morales will be replaced by Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith," said Dan O'Donnell, WISN-AM Radio host.

Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith

O'Donnell reported sources told him Chief Smith came to Milwaukee in mid-September, touring MPD facilities as part of an interview.

Mayor Barrett said that's not true, and he stands behind Chief Morales.

"I've made it clear, and I'll continue to make it clear, I support him as chief," said Mayor Barrett. "Today, I saw the references that the Green Bay police chief made, and I echo his comments, even though I've never met the man. We've never met each other."

The mayor's office released the following statement on this matter:

"Mayor Barrett is fully supportive of Chief Morales.  Under the leadership of Chief Morales, both homicides and non-fatal shootings are down for the second consecutive year."

Chief Morales released this statement:

"As the current Chief of the Milwaukee Police Department, I am focused on the safety and security of the members of this agency, the citizens we swore to protect and preparing for a successful 2020 Democratic National Convention."

Chief Smith issued this statement on Facebook:

"Despite recent news reports and unfounded rumors, I have neither applied for the Chief of Police position in Milwaukee, nor spoken to any officials in Milwaukee. I have great respect for Milwaukee Police Chief Al Morales. The rumors of me applying or being considered for the Chief of Police in Milwaukee are completely false."

"This is nothing more than a fabricated and unfounded rumor. I have never toured the police HQ in Milwaukee, and never met with the Mayor. My family and I love being here in Green Bay. I am proud to be the Chief here in Green Bay and have no plans to leave."

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