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Wis. Sheriff: 911 No Longer Best Option

January 28, 2013  | 

Screenshot via Ed Morrissey.
Screenshot via Ed Morrissey.

Milwaukee County (Wis.) Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. urged citizens to arm themselves rather than calling 911 and waiting for a police response in a radio ad that has drawn criticism from elected leaders.

In the public safety announcement, Sheriff Clarke tells residents that personal safety is no longer a spectator sport and that "I need you in the game."

"With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option," Clarke says in the ad. "You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back."

Clarke urges listeners to take a firearm safety course and handle a firearm "so you can defend yourself until we get there."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett released a statement to the Journal Sentinel in response to the ad. "Apparently, Sheriff David Clarke is auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie," Barrett said.

Tags: Milwaukee County (Wis.) Sheriff, Self Defense, 911 Calls


Comments (19)

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19

Hamlet Garcia @ 1/28/2013 12:22 PM

Why we have to Wait for police When we probably should better than they do i know I do And to protect my family Myself or others I will take any action necessary to stop The threat I will use a baseball bat I will bite I will throw them a rock And if necessary I will put two rounds In the chest and one in the head I do not believe in violence But I will do anything possible to protect life

Zach Smith @ 1/28/2013 1:20 PM

Wow what a great sheriff of course he's right but now the politicians are going to start a witch hunt when he is just doing his job

Bob Syeruncle @ 1/28/2013 4:10 PM

If there's to be a witch hunt by politicians, so be it. The sheriff is also an elected official, therefore a politician. He can swim with the sharks.

Tom Ret @ 1/28/2013 4:27 PM

It sounds like the Mayor would follow the Bob Costas method of hiding under his seat and hope for the best. The sheriff is not talking like dirty harry as much as urging people to exercise some common sense and self reliance when appropriate.

Laurence Lee @ 1/28/2013 5:29 PM

Good move Sheriff. With the era of Obama, and this economy everyone is going to have to protect themselves. Police are short handed and only able to respond after the fact.

Capt David-Ret LA County @ 1/28/2013 5:36 PM

I live in the country and the few times I have called 911 (my neighbor was getting burglarized as I watched through my binocs), the response time has been about 25 minutes to a few hours. And possibly between 3am and 6am we have no county coverage unless a highway patrol car may be in the vicinity.

DEADMAN @ 1/28/2013 5:51 PM

The politicians in that county are going to come up with a person to run against him in the next election,i hope he wins.

RICHARD ISAACS @ 1/28/2013 5:59 PM

AS A RETIRED PEACE OFFICER LET ME COMMEND CHIEF CLARKE FOR SEEING THE BIG PICTURE. A FAMOUS MAN SAID, ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU, ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY. PROTECTING YOURSELF WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE POLICE INSTEAD OF THE REVERSE IS A GOOD PLACE TO START.

P Ratch @ 1/28/2013 7:17 PM

Living in country setting I understand where he is coming from and will do whatever I can to protect my home and family. I have taken a course, been around guns in the home all my life and taught how to use them, safely. Knowing the response time of local sheriff/police, I'd rather be alive than dead when they got to my home. We all need to be proactive in our own protection.

Jack Moody @ 1/29/2013 5:43 AM

I commend you Chief Clarke. Reminding people they have a personal responsibility to defend themselves and their families is a refreshing idea. Keep up the good work and I support you and your decision.

Robert @ 1/29/2013 6:15 AM

The mayor is an idoit!!!

Sky @ 1/29/2013 7:05 AM

I'd ride the river with this Sheriff any day. Anyone working for him and the citizens who voted him in are getting more than their monies worth. Kudos.

ChiefP @ 1/29/2013 7:34 AM

Sheriff I hope you read this and see that as a Chief of Police I applaud you in your efforts and dedication to protecting the people you serve. I think it is a fantastic idea and you are truly living by the oath you swore to. The elected leaders are not law enforcement and do not have the same oath as you and telling your constituents that you can’t be there 100% of the time to prevent them from being hurt or killed by violence is truth that all should be aware of.

Thank you for standing up to corrupt politicians and political agenda to protect the people you serve. I hope and pray more people follow your lead!

Dan B @ 1/29/2013 7:36 AM

What an irresponsible statement! Does he actually want to create a panic reaction amongst his citizens? To Richard Isaacs: Really? bringing JFK into this? Talk about spinning up emotions!

Trevor @ 1/29/2013 8:24 AM

Its great to see law-enforcement officers maintaining their oath to uphold and protect the constitution. Yes I do agree with the Milwaukee County sheriff that citizens should use guns to take care of threats themselves instead of waiting for police to show up. Armed citizens deter criminals & should be looked at as an extension of law enforcement.

Jim A @ 1/29/2013 12:58 PM

Sheriff Clark is correct and making a strong political statement - not FOR GUNS, but against budget cuts that are negatively affecting the department budget and law enforcement coverage. He is willing to live with the consequences of his statements. Is the mayor willing to live with his budget cuts and stupid statements? I mean, "Dirty Harry". Come on, mayor. You have proven your stupidity.

Frank @ 1/29/2013 5:29 PM

Sheriff Clarke your a breathe of fresh air. A round of applauds and a toast to this sheriff! Finally we found someone with COMMON SENSE with reality in the 21st century.

PresidentP @ 1/30/2013 12:04 PM

Sheriff and ChiefP, I hope that as you read this, you see that as President I applaud and stand behind you. Good job.

John @ 1/30/2013 3:49 PM

Dan B: you sir are a dumbass. How is it irresponsible for Sheriff Clarke to urge the residents of his county to obtain firearms training and be prepared to defend their homes until deputies arrive?

Almost gives you hope when a sheriff (who appears to be a racial minority) of a large population county in a blue state believes that people have a right to defend themselves.

In a couple of years, hopefully the G.O.P. will ask Sheriff Clarke to be their candidate for Vice President.

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