Police Chief Recruitment


The Village of Shorewood is initiating a recruitment process to find its next Police Chief.  This webpage shall serve as an information tool for the community to learn about the Police Chief recruiting process and the current status of the recruitment.  The process will be placing an emphasis on finding a Police Chief who has the ability to integrate community-based policing principles; prioritize equity, diversity and inclusion in the Police Department organization and community; actively engage with residents and community groups; assess and implement policing best practices and innovative solutions to meet the demands of the Shorewood community.  

Any questions related to the Police Chief recruitment shall be directed to the following email account: policechiefrecruitment@shorewoodwi.gov.  You can also get immediate email and text updates through the Notify Me application.

challenge coin 2

Roles of Community Leaders and Stakeholders

The Police Commission is responsible for hiring the next Police Chief.  The Commission will need the help of several community groups and stakeholders in order to accomplish this task.  The Village Board will be asked to approve all funds to execute the recruitment process, hire the recruitment firm, and play a pivotal role to assure all stakeholders and community members have the opportunity to engage in the process.  The Public Safety Committee, which is a standing committee of three Village Board of Trustees who discuss and make recommendations related to Police and other public safety policy issues and services, will support the Village Board in their role.  

The Village recognizes there are several other stakeholders who need to be involved in the recruitment and selection process. These stakeholders include, but not limited to, the Human Relations Commission, community service and advocacy groups, residents, Police Department employees, other Village employees, the Shorewood School District, the Shorewood Business Improvement District, Milwaukee County Dismantling Barriers Team, community at-large, Friends of Atwater Beach, Senior Resource Center, Shorewood Public Library, Friends of Estabrook Park, neighboring police departments and Village religious institutions (churches and schools).  Below is a general overview of the upcoming process that will incorporate multiple checkpoints for the stakeholders to provide feedback.  

Process of Police Chief Recruitment

There are five general phases to the Police Chief recruitment process:  

  1. Identify interim leadership to help lead the department through the transition.
  2. Select a firm to execute the recruitment process based on the scope of services outlined by the Village and the community.
  3. Develop a candidate profile based on community feedback to guide the recruitment process.
  4. Engage with Police Chief candidates to make a selection based on the candidate profile, stakeholder comments, and community feedback.
  5. Finalize contract with selected candidate to begin work as Police Chief.
police squad

Current Status

After appointing Captain Tom Liebenthal as Interim Police Chief, the Village is currently in phase 2 of the Police Chief recruitment.  Village Board approved a request for proposals (RFP) document to be issued on September 21, 2021 that will be made available to prospective firms who conduct executive recruitments, specifically for Police Departments and the position of Police Chief.  The RFP document will ask firms to provide their qualifications, understanding of the scope of services, examples of previous work completed, a projected timeline to complete the services requested, cost to complete the work, and sample contract language if selected to provide the services.

The following outlines the steps that will be used to receive feedback and engage the public:

  • Stakeholders and community members can find RFP for recruitment services online and submit their comments to policechiefrecruitment@shorewoodwi.gov by September 13 at noon to have them considered.
  • Review RFP and public feedback at September 8 Village Board meeting and September 9 Human Relations Commission.
  • Police Commission reviews recent draft of the RFP during their meeting in mid-September.  
  • Village Board then considers issuance of RFP and use of unbudgeted funds for the recruitment at their September 20 meeting.  Additional public comments can be made at this meeting.
  • Staff issues RFP on September 21. 
  • Proposals are currently scheduled to be due on October 13.  
  • Once the Village receives proposals from interested firms, staff will post all proposals on this webpage by October 18 for another public engagement process.  Comments related to each of the firms' proposals will be due by October 27.  
  • An interview committee consisting of staff, officials, a Police Commission representative, and a Human Relations Commission representative will conduct an interview with each of the firms.  This committee will incorporate feedback from the public and responses in the interviews to develop a summary that will be shared with the Village Board and the public at the November 1 Village Board meeting.  
  • Public will have the opportunity to make additional comments at November 1 Village Board meeting.
  • A contract with the recommended firm will be considered at the November 15 Village Board meeting.  If approved, this will conclude phase 2.