Chief Flynn To Resign

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn made a surprise announcement of his retirement, after serving 10 years as chief.

“In 10 years, a lot has happened. Much has been accomplished, much has been achieved. It’s a good benchmark. And it’s time, time to say thank you, time to say goodbye.”

Flynn was the fifth longest-serving chief in the MPD’s 162-year history and the first, since the law was changed to institute a four-year term of office, to be reappointed, not once but twice. He will retire on February 16, nearly two years in advance of the end of his third term, scheduled to expire Jan. 7, 2020.

Flynn was sworn in as Milwaukee’s police chief on Jan. 7, 2008. Philip Arreola, served seven years from 1989 to ’96. The city’s longest serving police chief – and arguably its most notable – was Harold Breier who led the MPD for 20 years from 1964 to 1984.

Breier was the last chief appointed for life. The term for police chief changed to seven-year terms, then four-year terms. Flynn was appointed to a third term which began in January 2016.

The Milwaukee Police Department has been under fire in recent weeks — particularly as it relates to the death of 22-year-old Derek Williams. Williams died while in police custody in July 2011. He was picked up by Milwaukee police officers following a foot chase — suspected of an attempted robbery.

The commission, a civilian oversight board, said it would discuss how to move forward in its closed session this week.

The commission said it would select an acting chief from within the department “after a process” and seek candidates familiar with department structure and who have the confidence and trust of officers and the wider community.

Under the current chain-of-command, Assistant Chief James Harpole has served as acting chief when Flynn is away. Harpole was among five finalists for the chief’s post when it was last open in 2008.

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