Thursday, February 15, 2018

Alfonso Morales Selected As The New Milwaukee Acting/Interim Chief of Police

Morales becomes the new Acting/Interim Chief of Police for the City of Milwaukee.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

February 15, 2018

Milwaukee, WI - On Thursday, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission Board selected Milwaukee Police Captain Alfonso Morales, 47, on a vote of 4-3 as the new Acting/Interim Chief of Police. Morales becomes the second Hispanic to become Chief of Police in the City of Milwaukee. 
Morales is bilingual and speaks Spanish very well, which in 2013, he told Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) during an interview that it has been an asset in communicating with the predominantly Hispanic population in Milwaukee. Morales is one of 10 siblings and his father is originally from the state of Michoacan.
He went to Milwaukee Trade and Technical High School from 1984 to 1988, in that same year he entered Carroll College and later received a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal justice and Spanish. While attending high school, he met assist. football and baskeball Coach David Borowiscz who encouraged him to pursue a college degree. Morales credits Borowiscz for his success today and he also wants to encourage other teens to succeed as Borowiscz has done for him.
Morales has an impressive and honorable service record in the police department. He was an officer from 1993 to 1999, then was promoted to detective from 1999 to 2003 where he served in the homicide division, then became a Lieutenant in 2003, where served in several assignments that included the homicide division, internal affairs, training academy and the narcotics bureau.
Morales also worked with  former detective partner, Lt. Timothy Heier at District 2 (Heier was later appointed Captain). Another highly recognized and respected supervisor at District 2 was Lt. Alexander Ramirez (Ramirez was appointed Captain in 2017 and is the commander at District 2). The Milwaukee Police District 2 Station has a history of making strives in community and police relations by preventing crime. Under Captain Morales' leadership and experience, including the highly staffing of professional police personnel at District 2, it definately contributed in lowering crime statistics and provided a good working relation with the community it served and protects.
In May 2002, Morales was also instrumental in stopping a convicted murder felon from escaping during a trial at the Milwaukee Public Safety Building courtroom. Laron Anthony Ball, 20, was fatally shot by then Det. Morales after Ball attempted to escape from the courtroom moments into his convicted verdict. Ball jump from the box and tried to go through a window, but failed. He then jumped a Milwaukee deputy sheriff and while trying to disarm the deputy, the weapon fired shooting the deputy in the left leg. Ball also had bit another deputy. Det. Morales took out his service weapon and killed Ball.
Morales was hailed as a hero for preventing Ball from getting control of the deputy's weapon to shoot his way out and possibly injurying other people in the courtroom during his dramatic attempted escape. Ball had just been convicted for felony murder and several counts of arm robbery charges, according to court records.
According to the Milwaukee Police Department website, Captain Morales was appointed to the Milwaukee Police Department in 1993.  As an officer, Captain Morales was assigned to District Two and the Vice Control Division.  In 1999, he was promoted to Detective and worked in the Criminal Investigation Bureau where he worked various assignments from burglaries to robberies to homicide.  From 2003 until 2009, he served as Lieutenant in the Criminal Investigation Bureau where he managed the night shift Gang Crimes Unit and Homicide Unit.  In 2010, he transitioned to the Patrol Bureau where he managed the detective decentralization project in District Three.  He later worked assignments in Internal Affairs, the Police Academy, and HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas).  From 2004 to 2013 he was the Crisis Negotiator Commander of MPD's negotiators unit that responded to incidents involving barricaded armed subjects.  In 2013, Captain Morales was promoted to the role of Commanding Officer of District Two, which encompasses part of Milwaukee's South Side and is comprised of more than 87,000 residents. Captain Morales currently runs MPD's Project Safe Neighborhood-High Value Target program, a department-wide initative designed to reduce violent crime by focusing enforcement efforts on some of the worst gun offenders in our community.  
Captain Morales holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Carroll University in Waukesha, has taken masters level classes at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP).

The Latino community made history when Morales was selected as the first Chief of Police from Milwaukee since the 1970's when Latino activists fought to remove the height requirement, which was discriminatory for Latinos who were barred from joining the police and fire departments because they were not tall enough as required.
Former Chief Phillip Arreola was the first Latino Chief of Police in Milwaukee, but he was considered an outsider.
Brief history, in the early 1970's only one Latino Police Officer was in the Milwaukee Police Department. The officer was Procopio Sandoval who retired as a Detective in 1993. The height requirement of 5' 7" (est. 1885) and 5' 9" for hiring a police officer under police Chief Harold A. Breier kept many Hispanics from being appointed as police officers by the Fire and Police Commission.
Members of the Latino community led by Jesus Salas, Marla O. Anderson and others in the 1970's protested the height requirement in front of Chief Breier's office claiming it was discriminatory. The Fire and Police Commission height requirement kept most Hispanics from joining the police and fire department, which Salas and Anderson claimed it discriminated Latinos because of their height. The Hispanic community was being defranchised and unable to have members from the community appointed to the department in order to serve their community, according to the protesters.
After several protests, the Commission lowered the height requirement, thus paving the way for Hispanics to join both the Milwaukee Fire and Police Departments. 

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