Sheriff David Clarke is going to work for the Trump administration in the Department of Homeland Security.
The controversial, no-nonsense Milwaukee County lawman who is a vocal Trump supporter and police advocate, as anyone with a TV knows, made the announcement today about his new job, which starts next month, and which will require him to resign as sheriff. Clarke is or was up for reelection in November 2018.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will appoint the replacement to finish out David Clarke’s term. Clarke said that after informing the governor, he also expects to provide advice as to who should succeed him.
Clarke will become an assistant secretary in DHS where he will serve as the go-between for local and state law enforcement agencies and their federal counterparts, who sometimes feel ignored by Washington, he confirmed. He will be based out of the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement in a role that does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
The sheriff told WISN radio host Vicki McKenna this afternoon that “I will be working with them and then taking those concerns to [DHS Secretary John Kelly] to keep him informed of what the needs, what the complaints, what the shortcomings are in the Department of Homeland Security so we can better serve these entities outside the federal government,” Fox6 reported.
He added that he feels “both honored and humbled” with the opportunity to join the Trump administration.
Clarke himself was previously rumored to be under consideration for either the top DHS job or as FBI director.
A former city of Milwaukee police commander, Clarke, a Democrat, has been county sheriff since 2002 and was reelected to his fourth term in that job in 2014. He is an outspoken supporter of Second Amendment rights and firearms training and was a foe of the Obama administration, particularly in what he claimed was its war on police. He was previously a patrolman, a homicide detective, a lieutenant of detectives, and a captain on the Milwaukee PD. Among 10 applicants, Clarke was originally appointed sheriff by then-Gov. Scott McCallum after the incumbent accepted a pension sweetener.
He is also an aggressive critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, describing it as, among other things, a Frankenstein monster and a collection of misfits, and renaming them “Black Lies Matter.”
With his signature cowboy hat, Sheriff Clarke found himself in the national spotlight as a law-and-order advocate with regular appearances on the Fox News Channel, CNN, and other media outlets, ever since advising his Wisconsin constituents several years ago in a series of viral ads to arm themselves against intruders rather than hiding under the bed and waiting for overworked, undermanned cops to arrive.
“Clarke, a Trump loyalist who served as a surrogate during the campaign, was one of three black speakers who endorsed President Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. He is a vocal proponent of gun rights with close ties to the National Rifle Association…Clarke’s brazenness and tendency to fire-off provocative, off-hand comments have contributed to his rise as one of Wisconsin’s most controversial political figures,” the Washington Free Beacon recalled.
As sheriff, David Clarke is in charge of the Milwaukee County jail; the local district attorney is currently reviewing incidents where inmates died while in custody there.
Clarke, who has faced criticism for allegedly being an absentee sheriff as his national profile grew, “said the jail populations are ‘filled with sick people who have made a lot of bad decisions that have compromised their health,'” Business Insider reported.
Do you think that Sheriff David Clarke is a good hire by the Department of Homeland Security in the Trump administration?
[Featured Image by Susan Walsh/AP Images]