Followers of MPD and those with an interest in public safety in Madison may be wondering what happens next, now that Chief Koval has retired. In most parts of the country, the Mayor would conduct a search process, then select and hire the next Chief. Wisconsin, however, is a bit unique. Wisconsin law requires most cities to have a Police and Fire Commission (PFC). The PFC is made up of five citizen volunteers (appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Common Council) who serve five-year terms. They are responsible for all hiring and promotional decisions in a City's police and fire departments. This includes selecting and hiring the Chief. The PFC will establish what the selection process will look like, who is eligible to apply, and will ultimately choose Madison's next police chief.
Conducting a search and selecting a Chief does not happen overnight. When Chief Wray retired, the entire process took about seven months. A number of variables can impact that timeline; it is of course more important to do the process right than to do it quickly.
I have the privilege to serve as Acting Chief during this period while the PFC identifies and selects the next permanent Chief. The community can rest assured that MPD will not miss a beat during this process. The men and women of the department will continue to deliver high quality service to the public, and MPD will remain committed to our mission statement and core values.
-Acting Chief Victor Wahl