MILWAUKEE -- Police Chief Alfonso Morales has support to stay on as Milwaukee's top cop -- but before he's given a formal offer, FOX6 News learned Morales would have to appeal to the public to keep his job.
There was job security Friday night, Oct. 5 for Chief Morales -- with a catch.
"It's the process that was announced earlier and the process will play out over the next couple of months," said Mayor Tom Barrett.
Mayor Barrett defended the Fire and Police Commission's (FPC) decision to make Morales go through another extensive hiring process. Morales was appointed in 2018. His contract is up in January.
"They are giving the public the opportunity to come in, and be transparent, and find out exactly how they feel about the police department and the challenges that we face," said Barrett.
In a first for the FPC, officials announced public comment would be solicited before Morales would take part in a community meeting, answering questions from the public ahead of a final contract offer.
"First, I have to get past this step," said Morales. "If I make it, I'm going to plan on it, and see what kind of term they give me."
Both Barrett and the police union said they support sticking with Morales.
"Crime is down. My troops like working for him," said Shawn Lauda.
But Lauda, Milwaukee Police Association president, said he fears dragging the process out for months with Morales could ultimately leave the city starting from scratch.
"Somebody with his qualifications could certainly, at any moment, recieve a job offer somewhere else," said Lauda.
Public comments will be accepted through Oct. 20. CLICK HERE to learn more.