I know I’m biased, but I honestly believe David Clarke has been a miserable failure as Sheriff of Milwaukee County. This is a man who, during his tenure in office, has done more to alienate the rank and file members of the Sheriff’s Department than any of his predecessors, a fact that isn’t surprising given his penchant for calling his subordinates “losers” and “dumb,” and putting aside his lack of any kind of leadership qualities, he hasn’t really done much to fix that which is wrong with the Sheriff’s Department. This is also the same man who time and time again blames his subordinates whenever there’s a problem at the jail, leading me to conclude Sheriff Clarke’s obviously not a believer in Harry Truman’s philosophy that “The Buck Stops Here.” As Sheriff, he should take some responsibility for how the jail is operated, because that is one of his mandates as Sheriff, yet time and time again he deflects any blame off himself and on to the deputies and corrections officers that work under him, ostensibly because he’s more concerned about his own political future than he is about doing what’s right for the Sheriff’s Department – and not just David Clarke.
After all, how can anyone forget the absolute failure that was the GRIP program, Sheriff Clarke’s vaunted – but ultimately ineffective – program for taking guns off Milwaukee’s streets. I sure haven’t forgotten GRIP, because it was largely due to the GRIP program that deputies in the field were sent on a fool’s errand instead that yielded little in the way of actual results, while creating holes in coverage throughout the county.
As I’ve said, I’m not fan of David Clarke, but that’s because I don’t consider him much of a lawman. After all, how can anyone respect a Sheriff whose “plan” for reducing crime in Milwaukee consists of:
- Send folks to church
- Get them more money
- School uniforms for kids
Noticeably absent from that list? Any mention of specific law enforcement strategies to deal with crime in Milwaukee. There’s no mention of putting more deputies onto our streets and highways, and there’s no mention of partnering with other law enforcement agencies in Milwaukee County to work collaboratively to combat crime. If this is what passes for Sheriff David Clarke’s “plan” for making Milwaukee safer, then perhaps I should run for Sheriff, because I’m sure I can come up with a comparably detailed and comprehensive “plan” in about five minutes.