Charles Padgett, a deputy chief of police in West Allis, was appointed interim chief by the West Allis Police and Fire Commission Thursday.
Padgett started with the department as a patrol officer 24 years ago. Rising through the ranks, he became deputy chief in March 2011. He currently is in charge of operations.
Padgett will take over as interim chief Nov. 17, subsequent to Police Chief Michael Jungbluth's last working day. Jungbluth will not officially retire until the end of the year.
The Police and Fire Commission will accept applications for the chief's position until Oct. 26. It will start evaluating candidates after that.
'I'm grateful for the opportunity,' Padgett said Friday. 'I'll work as hard as I can to ensure that we move forward and continue the positive atmosphere with other departments and citizens throughout the city.'
Even though he's only interim chief, Padgett will face the challenges of running the department with 14 or 15 people retiring from now through February.
He said the biggest problems he sees right now are keeping staffing at a productive working level and being sure that hiring practices result in getting the best candidates for the open positions.