As Madison’s Police and Fire Commission continues searching for a permanent police chief, its members are considering changing a rule that would allow police and fire chiefs to live outside the city, but within 15 miles.
Under the commission’s current rules, a police or fire chief appointee “shall establish residence within 60 days after appointment.” In 2013, Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed a law that largely preempts local governments from setting employment rules, including residency requirements.
That law does allow cities to enforce requirements that police, firefighters and emergency workers live within 15 miles of city limits.
“We would still strive to negotiate with the selected candidate to reside within the city, and we noted in the final position announcement that that is desirable for us, but ultimately, we cannot require the candidate to live within the city given the change in the law,” Jenna Rousseau, attorney for the PFC, said.