MILWAUKEE -- A new radio ad released by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has him battling harsh criticism from local politicians. The latest in this story is his response to Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's criticism of his radio ad.
During a television interview Abele said Sheriff Clarke should find more mature ways to address concerns about 911 service.
The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office responded to Abele's interview on Facebook:
"County Executive Abele called Sheriff Clarke “immature” for his public safety ad during an interview. Two observations: It is apparent that the left has developed a set of talking points that they are all repeating. Second, Abele is a subject matter expert on immaturity. Getting arrested for drunk driving and not paying the ticket for seven years, parking his car wherever he felt like it and accumulating 92 parking tickets that went over-due, and throwing lighted fireworks into the yard of a neighbor that he didn't get along with are all great feats of maturity on his part!"
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's Office released a statement:
"If the Sheriff is truly concerned about public safety in Milwaukee County why is he spending so much time in California? While he’s enjoying the warm weather and his 15 minutes of fame on CNN, the dedicated men and women of his department and all the police departments in Milwaukee County are here at home keeping us safe.”
In his radio announcement Sheriff Clarke said, "Calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option". Sheriff Clarke cites furloughs and layoffs as the reason calling 911 may not be a person's best option for safety in an emergency situation. The sheriff also suggests citizens take a firearm safety course so citizens can defend themselves until law enforcement arrives.
Sheriff's Clarke has drawn sharp criticism from several local politicians. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's Office was the first saying, "Apparently Sheriff Clarke is auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie." The Mayor also appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Show.
Sheriff Clarke responded to the mayor's statement saying, "Several years ago a tire iron-wielding suspect beat Mayor Tom Barrett to within inches of his life. I would think that he would be a lot more sensitive to people being able to defend themselves in such instances. A firearm and a plan of defense would have come in handy for him that day.”
Milwaukee Police Association President Mike Crivello backs Clarke and released a statement saying, "It is unfortunate that city officials have made the decision to furlough our officers – this action equates to the loss of 48,000 hours of police coverage. The result is simple; the safety of our officers and community will be negatively impacted – fewer officers equals greater response time."
Milwaukee Alderwoman Mielele Coggs also weighs in saying, "The idea that there should be a greater effort for us to bear our own arms, is a society, I think most of us don't even want to live in. I think sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for."
Monitor CBS58 News and CBS58.com for more on this story.