According to a draft timeline of the selection process, the Madison Board of Police and Fire Commissioners intends to select a new permanent Chief of Police by the end of this year.
That’s nearly double the timeline proposed by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, who says she wants a new chief to be selected in the next three months. At a press conference on Friday, Mayor Rhodes-Conway said that the Board has had enough time to choose a new Police Chief.
“I would not say there’s a rush, it’s been ten months since Chief Koval retired,” she said. “But I do think that it’s very important for us to move forward quickly to make sure that we have a permanent chief hired as soon as possible.”
Interim Police Chief Vic Wahl has served in the position since last October, after previous chief Mike Koval abruptly resigned. According to the Cap Times, Wahl has said that he is not one of the candidates for the permanent position.
But, Board president Nia Enemuoh-Trammell says the Mayor’s recommended timeline of 90 days isn’t feasible.
“Our selection process is a very robust engagement of the community,” she said. “We’re going to try to get that all wrapped up in the next 2-3 months, but that’s going to be one of the pieces that will take us some time to work through. So that’s why we concluded that ninety days would be a very aggressive schedule for us.”
Koval, who gave a one-day notice of his resignation amidst budget negotiations, cited a lack of support for the city’s police department as one of the main reasons for his departure.
Madison Police Department’s operating budget has increased by more than eighteen million dollars since 2015, according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum. The department’s officer force has grown by five percent since 2015, keeping pace with the city’s population.
According to the Board’s draft timeline, recruiting for the position will begin this month, and applications to be the next Madison Police Chief are due in mid-September. The Police and Fire Commission hopes to have a final candidate by December.