Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke

Sheriff: Calling 911 Is Not Your Best Option [Listen]

Milwaukee, WI — Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke released a radio public service announcement yesterday about individual self defense that created controversy in the local community.

In the PSA, Sheriff Clarke has this to say to Milwaukee-area residents:

“I want to talk to you about something personal — your safety.

“It’s no longer a spectator sport; I need you in the game. But are you ready?

“With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option.

“You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back.

“But are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there.

“You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?”

Various officials in the area were not pleased with what Sheriff Clarke had to say, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele made this comment about Clarke’s radio spot:

“I think it’s irresponsible and it doesn’t help public safety to tell the public there’s some kind of imminent danger that they need to go buy guns. Essentially, you’ve got a (public service announcement) that’s recommending people need to go buy guns because they can’t rely on the response they’ll get from 911. I’m here to tell you, we have phenomenal police departments.”

Sheriff Clarke, who appears to be a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, served on the Milwaukee police department for 24 years before being appointed county sheriff in 2002 by the governor. He has been overwhelmingly re-elected twice since then.

Do you think the sheriff, as some of his critics claim, is calling for vigilantism or “auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie”? Listen to the PSA and decide for yourself: