The Madison Police and Fire Commission couldn't made a bad choice for the city's next chief of police. Both Mike Koval and Carl Gloede, the two finalists, would have made fine selections.
But with the hiring of Mike Koval, who previously served as the department's recruiter, we might get something we haven't seen much of in that office and an attribute city government badly needs right now: someone with a sense of humor. Granted, police chief is not a job that necessarily lends itself to levity. But if anybody can pull it offm it will be Koval. He's got that chiding, needling kind of humor that says he's mocking you, but that he really cares about you as well. That has come in handy in his current job training Madison cops.
Now, as chief, his role will be different. He will have to communicate a lot more with the public than he will internally, and the wrong joke or even the right joke at the wrong time can get you into trouble.
Still, it would be good to have a top-tier public leader in Madison crack wise now and then at the appropriate moment. Madison tends to take itself a little bit too seriously, so it's good to have someone in a high-profile position muss up our hair once in a while and make light of our earnestness.
I wish Chief Koval the best, and I hope that he not only keeps his fine sense of humor but uses it to both his and the community's advantage.