Sharon Fairley Comments on Civilian Police Oversight Boards as Milwaukee Commissioners Resign

Fire and Police Commission chair and vice chair resign, citing loss of power over MPD policy

The chair and vice chair of Milwaukee's civilian police oversight board resigned Thursday, citing provisions in a new state law that takes away their power to set policy over the city's police and fire departments.

A letter signed by Fire and Police Commission (FPC) Chair Ed Fallone and Vice Chair Amanda Avalos stated their resignations would be effective at midnight Friday.

The resignation letter cited provisions in a bipartisan bill Gov. Tony Evers signed into law last month, which boosted state aid for all local governments, and gave Milwaukee the ability to institute a 2% city sales tax.


University of Chicago Law Professor Sharon Fairley studied the oversight boards in the 100 most populous American cities.

She found Milwaukee to be one of just 11 U.S. cities with "supervisory" powers, meaning they set policy for the police department. 

According to her review, Milwaukee has the nation's second-oldest civilian oversight board, having been established in 1885. Only St. Louis has an older board.

Read more at CBS58