Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Waukesha Shouldn’t Hire the Police Chief’s Kid as a Police Officer

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Listening to the Waukesha Common Council personnel committee debate whether an exemption should be given to the police chief’s kid to allow him to work at the Waukesha police department. The city has an anti-nepotism policy has a reason. We’re a big enough city, close enough to other population centers, that we don’t have to hire family members of the chief for the police department. Plus, state law makes it pretty clear that the police chief would be the direct supervisor no matter how he delegates it.

I like Ald. Aaron Perry but he’s just wrong on this, and this is one time the Common Council should not cave in to Police Chief Jack. By the way, I have huge respect for our police department, and I think they do a remarkable job keeping our city safe. That does not mean that the Common Council has to give in to everything the police chief wants.

(And I’m just going to add that Aaron Perry referencing White House nepotism is a bad idea.)

If, as the police chief indicates, his son can work for another police department for a couple of years until the chief retires, then that would only be a benefit to the Waukesha police department because he would learn what their best practices are and can bring some of those best practices back to Waukesha. But we should not take the police chief’s word that he’s going to retire in a couple of years, anymore than I believed the police chief when he said no overtime was incurred because of Friday Night Live or when he claimed it that it would hurt the city to combine police dispatch with the county.

Finally, the police chief and his sidekick saying that exemptions have been granted in the past is not an excuse for granting the exemption now. If anything, it’s a reminder that we need to work harder as a community to have a more professional culture in our city government.

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