A sheriff who released a radio ad urging Milwaukee-area residents to learn to handle firearms so they can defend themselves while waiting for police said Friday that law enforcement cutbacks have changed the way police can respond to crime.

In the 30-second commercial, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. says personal safety is no longer a spectator sport.

"I need you in the game," he says.

"With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option," he adds. "You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. ... Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there."

The ad has generated sharp criticism from other area officials and anti-violence advocates. The president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs' Association, Roy Felber, said it sounds like a call to vigilantism.

"That doesn't sound too smart," Felber said. "People have the right to defend themselves, but they don't have the right to take the law into their own hands."

Under Wisconsin's "castle doctrine," someone who uses deadly force against an unlawful intruder to their home, business or vehicle is presumed to have acted reasonably. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice said that as of this week, there are about 155,000 concealed carry permits in Wisconsin.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Clarke said he just wants people to know what their options are. While self-defense isn't for everyone, some people see personal safety as their own responsibility, he said, and they should be trained properly.

"I'm not telling you to 'Hey, pick up a gun and blast away.' ... People need to know what they are doing if they chose that method — to defend themselves," he said.

But he also said he wanted to call on residents to be law enforcement "partners." He said he could either whine about budget cuts that forced him to lay off 48 deputies last year or he could get creative.

"People are responsible to play a role in their own safety, with the help of law enforcement," Clarke said. "I'm here to do my part, but we have fewer and fewer resources. We're not omnipresent, and we have to stop giving people that impression."

"After sitting down and thinking about this, I'm thinking 'Hey, I've got an untapped reserve over here, and it's the public,'" Clarke said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's office released a statement criticizing the ad: "Apparently Sheriff David Clarke is auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie."

Barrett was beaten up several years ago by someone with a tire iron, and Clarke said he thought that would make the mayor "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."

Jeri Bonavia, executive director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, said Clarke took a dangerous position with his ad. She pointed to the case of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida who fatally shot an unarmed 17-year-old following an altercation. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law.

"I feel like this is such an irresponsible thing for our chief public safety officer of a county to do," Bonavia said. "I think he owes this community an apology. And if he really believes that he's not capable of providing for our public safety he should get a different job."

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skippie
skippie

Once again. Liberals trash someone for speaking the truth. It seems liberals prefer that our public servants lie to us. Why is that liberals?

Bisley
Bisley

The sheriff, of course, is right. 911 is not the first line of defense and never has been, regardless of how many deputies, or police are available. In a confrontation with violent criminals, things are usually resolved, one way, or another, in a matter of seconds. It doesn't matter if the police station is around the corner, they most likely won't get there until whatever is going to happen is over. Ordinarily, police arrive while the bodies are still warm; who's body do you want them to find?

Tara W
Tara W

Why do you folks putting out ad hoc attacks against the Sheriff think that personal protection is NOT a personal responsibility? RIDICULOUS!

The Sheriff suggested you get training, suggested firearms as a possible method of defense--that is YOUR choice!. He's trying to snap you out of your bubble and make you think for yourself-- How are you going to defend yourself? So it's not a Dirty Harry movie, it's not a setup for a shootout at OK Corral. He's not talking about being a vigilante or part of a lynch mob. He's suggesting you protect yourself...novel idea. Stop with the exaggeration and get a grip on REALITY.

How many of you gun-phobic people have ever taken a gun safety course? If you have, you would be surprised to hear how much focus is put on situational awareness, other precautions you take to avoid having to use a firearm for defense, then finally, how to operate various firearms safely. Would you have such a fit if Sheriff Clarke talked about RAD classes, the women's anti-rape defense course, which by the way, encourages women to be armed in addition to unarmed defense?

Tell us, really, what are you going to do if you're confronted by 3 guys on the street intent on beating you because you accidentally wore blue or were in the wrong neighborhood turf? What are you going to do if some burglar interrupts your quiet Kindle-reading, wine-sipping evening? The police or deputies can't be there at that very moment....what...will...you...do!?

bananahammock
bananahammock

"In the 30-second commercial, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. says personal safety is no longer a spectator sport."

This comment board makes me laugh and cry more than any other in recent days. You all can call 911 and then shout at the boogieman to get away from you. It might just work. I'll also call 911 and also shout at the boogieman to leave but also be prepared for the worse when the boogieman doesn't want to leave.

Elia
Elia

This sheriff who aired the add is a NRA member. This is the only reason he urges people to buy more guns. We are reasonable people and we do not want more tragedies like Newtown. We urge more budget from the governor to have good policemen not for a kind of nuts sheriff. He also looks like a crazy nuts like Limbaugh, and all the nuts who think that buying more guns will solve the problem. The solution is banning dangerous fire arms. We are a civilized society, aren't we?

jrclen
jrclen

I came here for the comments. I knew those from the people's republic of Madistan would be especially amusing. The sheriff of course is correct. 911, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. 30 minutes or more out here where I live. When a police officer is stationed outside everyone's house 24/7, we won't need self defense as much as we do now. That's gonna be expensive.

scorp
scorp

Finally a public servant actualyl tells the truth about important issues , and he is vigorously attacked by the know-nothings .Anyone with any sense would not need to be told what the Sheriff said is true, they knew that from crime stats and response times.The police arrive to INVESTIGATE the homicide , they are too late to prevent it! Prevention is up to the intended VICTIM .She can be slaughtered like sheep ,or pack the heat and lower the criminal population.The dude in Arizona has competition from Milwaukee , GO SHERIFF!

Good Gosh
Good Gosh

Just another thought....Milwaukee County Sheriff Clarke....Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.....hmmmmm. It's all coming clear now.

Good Gosh
Good Gosh

That sheriff is spot on. But we need to relax our existing gun controls because my eyesight isn't what it used to be and it'd far easier for me to take a bad guy out if I could use a grenade or missile launcher or something like that. I have to ask myself, though, why is it the majority of law enforcement officers and the military do not want all these fancy-dancy guns in the public's hands? I cannot believe they are whimpy enough to be afraid to answer calls. Surely, they would trust a terrified, well-armed citizen to not shoot them instead of the bad guy. I suspect it's because of the reason the NRA is truly so stuck on guns - they're afraid of the government and need to be armed when the government turns on us and invades our homes and takes away our freedoms and puts us in compounds. Yeah, that'd be it. Police and military are, of course, on the side of the bad guys. Damn 'em all!!!!

Walleyemaniac
Walleyemaniac

All I know it was so cold outside this past week that I actually saw two liberals walking down the road with their hands in their own pockets for once!

seamus
seamus

I can only imagine how thrilled the police will be responding to 911 calls where a freaked out home owner, armed and instructed by the sheriff to respond with force, might shoot them as they enter the home being mis-perceived as intruders.
But it's always reassuring to see the name calling in the responses.

uwjeff
uwjeff

who knows.......maybe they will take a certified safety course in handling a firearm as he suggests as well and they will not be 'freaked out' but simply be better prepared and at least be in a position and ready to protect themselves and their family....... it's your choice and 'right'

uwjeff
uwjeff

I guess we could go back and forth and debate the 'should he' or 'shouldn't he' have sent the message as he did..........but I'll say this.......at least he's not giving us some feel good platitudes like most politicians do.........he's actually telling us the truth and giving us reality............wring your hands and roll your eyes if you want at how he went about it..........but TRUTH prevails and I'll give him that ..... and extra points for his boldness and at least not pretending to say we have full protection with 911 and police response -- reality is it's going to be too late by the time they arrive to stop anything

Blatant
Blatant

Lets reduce the PD, by 75% and develop a rebate plan so more people can arm and defend their homes. Can I get a write off to build a moat?

LeftCoastConservative
LeftCoastConservative

I see nothing obnoxious about the sheriff's statements. Why do you liberals have such a problem with personal responsibility and protection? You seem so comfortable with the government being your guardian/protector. It's like you're all too weak to take care of yourselves. Police are very important in society. But they can only respond. Rarely can they be there when a crime is being committed.
Maybe the Boyce lady in Madison would still be alive if she had a gun for protection from her soon to be ex husband a couple days ago?

CarolASThompson
CarolASThompson

What Sheriff Clarke said was perfectly reasonable. But Boyce was a state epidemiologist, and nowadays their ilk go around calling gun violence an "epidemic" and try to take them away from everyone. But apparently her ex-husband-to-be used a knife on her, and a shotgun on himself.

Victor_Berger
Victor_Berger

The reason this liberal has such a problem with personal responsibility and protection is I don't trust conservatives with guns. You see WMD when none are there. You see "innovation" and "risk taking" when I see fraud and theft. You see pump & dump management that siphons off profits to owners and bankrupts otherwise profitable companies leaving everyone else holding the bag as "creative destruction". I see the need for clawback laws to stop you. You see personal protection, while I see statistics that indicate that gun is more likely to be used against you or an innocent person than a violent criminal.

To top it off, you act like the lowest tax burden in the industrialized world is heavy burden. I don't need a gun. Nobody is out to get me... except you and your political party. And for that votes are much more effective.

Observer5
Observer5

Another confirmation of the break down of our society. Intruders don't announce their intentions so presumably your gun has to ready at all times and with you when answer the door. Nothing could go wrong here.

epic
epic

The Zimmerman girl attempted to get help from the 911 center when an intruder broke into her apartment and apparently the call was mishandled. My guess is that she had no opportunity to hide and just begged for mercy before being murdered. An unarmed populace gives violent felons carte blanche. "Please don't kill me, please don't hurt me, please don't hurt my children, oh please.......OR BANG, BANG. Your choice.

rabbit
rabbit

Darn those 911 people for not knowing the exact location of every call from a cell phone.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

That's the point smart guy.

Lynn4300XL
Lynn4300XL

Sounds like they should just close the sheriffs office. Who needs them if everyone is packing. Buying a gun is much cheaper than the taxes they take.

Mattila
Mattila

Who would want to stay or play in Mil. Cty? This guy is another teabag nut job.

epic
epic

I agree. I'd rather stay or play in the gun-free zone of the City of Chicago. You realize that guns are not allowed there and that policy has led to a very tranquil environment. All you have to do in Chicago if you have a problem is to call 911. Breathe easy because Rahm Emanuel has your back.

JimBob1
JimBob1

There has been numerous rulings from the bench telling us "The state has NO legal responsibility to protect us, as individuals, from murders and madmen." It is up to the individual to protect himself from such threats.

I have the case law that I use in my CCW classes.

JimL

Mr LaMarr
Mr LaMarr

Randall, your village called. They lost their idiot. Go home.

itsrandallonregent
itsrandallonregent

I am home Hedley. Not in some crappy ranch on Northland though.

fatwallet
fatwallet

Let me see.... Who would I rather have for a Sheriff, Dave Baloney or Sheriff Clarke?? How great would it have been to have Sheriff Clarke standing by to assist with the Capitol Crazy's a couple of years ago.

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

I live in milwaukee. We have long wondered what exactly the Milwaukee County sheriffs do that costs so much money. The budget for the sheriff’s department is $122 million, a cost equal to 44 percent of the county property tax levy. And how much law enforcement do we get for this?

The most recent state Office of Justice Assistance report covers the two-year period of 2009-2010 and shows there were 106,936 violent and property crimes in the county. The Milwaukee Police Department handled 75 percent of those incidents. The sheriffs handled just 57 crimes, or less than one-fifth of one-percent.

Despite that puny effort, the sheriff’s budget is about half the size of the Milwaukee Police Dept. budget of $237 million.

In 2009, the sheriff reported only 19 crimes to the FBI, compared to 41,375 for the Milwaukee police, 3,288 for West Allis police, 1,908 for Wauwatosa and even 242 for the UW-Milwaukee police. That’s right, the UWM campus police handled 12 times more criminals than the Sheriff’s Department.

Just 10 percent of Sheriff David Clarke’s requested property tax levy was for police services. As Abele put it, “the sheriff plays only a limited role as a traditional law enforcement agency.”

TRYIN2C
TRYIN2C

Fear not those things made straight or bent, fear only a hateful hearts intent.

It makes perfect sense for those who desire to, to learn how to take the direct approach in their own personal safety. If you are young, agile and fit, you can learn the martial arts and turn your whole body into a weapon of lethal potential.

If you are not young or agile....or able to do that, do you just walk around all day long with a sign on your back that says, "Please don't hurt me." ???

People love their sugar pills. Laws are those placebos that give a false sense of security only to discover later that the sugar high was for naught.

JBANK
JBANK

Why all the fuss? The Sheriff likes to stick it to the lazy, ineffective crowd down at the County Courthouse.....along with a few County Supervisors that like to meddle in areas where they don't belong. He loves to put the spotlight on these types of issues. He knows these folks are more interested in going along, getting along and collecting fat paychecks and pensions than doing anything about the problems in Milwaukee. Same with Mayor Tom. Another status quo lifer looking to ride his gig as long as possible.

rabbit
rabbit

Are you talking about the 911 staff? Because I'm sure you've sat along with them or observed their operation, to know that they are lazy, ineffective, and only interested in collecting "fat" paychecks.

social lib fiscal conserv
social lib fiscal conserv

graduated from UW-Madison so I have lived there. Madison has virtually no crime as it is really nothing other than a college town. Madison is a fun place but not really a legit city (not trying to be an ass) I have lived in Chicago for several years after college which has lots of crime depending on where you live(not much downtown).
I presently live on the East side of Milwaukee which does not have much crime but the city as a whole has on average 14 shooting per day everyday 365 days per year. this is a real stat. So I chose to get my concealed carry permit and cary a small 9mm on me much of the time. I realize for people in Madison who believe they are living in a real midwest city that they know what they are talking about when it comes to crime and violence, I beg to differ. The criminals have guns already and don't care about the law so yes sheriff Clarke you are speaking truth in saying that you need to arm yourself and learn how to use it if you choose to live in our generally fun and awesome city.

CarolASThompson
CarolASThompson

Most of the crime is concentrated downtown where the college students hang out.

http://spotcrime.com/wi/madison

BananaSplitz
BananaSplitz

Public Enemy had it right.

tareco
tareco

This "sherrif" needs to be investigated. Sounds to me like he may be smoking the crack pipe! What an irresponsible thing to say--I hope they kick his ass out of office--he has no place in this state!

grampabucky
grampabucky

Future NRA lobbyist.

SunnyJ
SunnyJ

Same people that were sure Concealed Carry would result in blood in the streets can't admit its resulted in fewer deaths and individuals protecting themselves. Comments here are heavy on idealogy and little on facts. I'm elder female living in rural area and I AM MY OWN FIRST RESPONDER AND HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS. Walk a day in others shoes and stop the drama, hyper response. Gun laws do nothing to prevent criminal behavior. Only law abiding citizens follow them. You put a Gun Free Zone sign on your front yard and then tell me how to live. Yeah, didn't think so.

Shake
Shake

its(sic) resulted in fewer deaths and individuals protecting themselves

I'd love to see some proof of that assertion.

itsrandallonregent
itsrandallonregent

Shake you can find some proof down at the Capital. (sic) Remember that one Shake from Monday when you said MLK Jr. would have joined you marching around the Capital? (sic) Shake will you be singing in the Capital (sic) tomorrow? Wearing some comfortable shoes with Obama?

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

David Clarke.
 
David Clarke.
 
sigh

itsrandallonregent
itsrandallonregent

Noble Wray.

Noble Wray.

sigh

Paul Soglin

Paul Soglin

sigh

Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett

sigh

Please free us from the chains of these good ole boys, we left their ways of thinking behind in the 60's! Father Groppi marched in Milwaukee to end this racism! We need more minorities in law enforcement! What are we turning into, Wisississippi with all these white law men and redneck Mayors? Next thing you know the union cops will be shooting innocent drunk black men in Madison!

Dode
Dode

A pistol in the hand is worth two dozen cops in the doughnut shop.

starnavig8r
starnavig8r

Milwaukee has crime problems and insufficient police resources! I live there and I agree with Clarke. He is telling it like he sees it. He has that right, imho! As a veteran and taxpayer, I'm happy to pay more taxes for proper law enforcement. In a showdown, I would rather stand beside Clarke!

mjray
mjray

Wait, is this possibly more evidence of the erosion of cognitive faculties from listening to Fox news? Or, maybe the NRA is piloting a new program to increase membership. Maybe the next message will be, "And if you're going to shoot instead of calling 911, be sure to use a Glock. Nothing puts'em down like a Glock." That's how it worked in the Wild West. An American tradition. Yippee Kiyay m... Sponsored by the NRA and Glock hand guns.

Prairie75
Prairie75

The sheriff is an elected official. So is the coroner. Mmmmm...perhaps this is a Milwaukee County example of synergy in government.

I think encouraging people to have loaded weapons in their homes is a grand idea.
As Mark Twain pointed out (see "Advice to Youth"*), the only thing more deadly to have around is an unloaded gun.

Either way, loaded or supposedly unloaded guns certainly help increase the rates of suicides and of accidental deaths.

* http://www.tnellen.com/06iths/spring/youth.html

"Don’t you meddle with old unloaded firearms; they are the most deadly and unerring hings that have ever been created by man. You don’t have to take any pains at all with them; you don’t have to have a rest, you don’t have to have any sights on the gun, you don’t have to take aim, even. No, you just pick out a relative and bang away, and you are sure to get him. A youth who can’t hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three quarters of an hour, can take up an old empty musket and bag his grandmother every time, at a hundred. Think what Waterloo would have been if one of the armies had been boys armed with old muskets supposed not to be loaded, and the other army had been composed of their female relations. The very thought of it make one shudder."

BDWIRunner
BDWIRunner

Just wondering why everybody assumes the only time someone would call 911 is when they are in their own home?

Also wondering if this directive just gave gang bangers license to start shooting up the streets. Now that the Sherriff has given them the OK to shoot first and ask questions later a lot of shooters can claim they were afraid so they did what they were told by Sherriff Clarke.

I appreciate that Clarke is doing this as a publicity stunt to call attention to a serious issue. But the ends do not justify the means. This is - at best - ill conceived.

PosterX
PosterX

Bible gun= salvation

Queen123
Queen123

Maybe the better idea is to put more funding back into the police dept. instead of having a bunch of untrained who knows what people with guns. Let's get our priorities straight people!

Devastation608
Devastation608

$400 million budget surplus, and for some odd reason we can't pay for police? Interesting.

Infidel
Infidel

Since you all claim it is easy to understand all the rights and protections under all circumstances, why do we have hundreds of case law that have to help define them? Have you studied the jurisprudence of personal home safety? What does case law state about chasing someone outside your home and then shooting them? In the front of their body? The back? What does case law state about the shooting of a child who was chasing after their cat in your backyard? How about the drunk guy who is just passed out in your yard? Can you shoot him too? Detain him and have him arrested? Can you legally detain a teenager that is TPing your trees?
Do you honestly think that every single instance is the same and there are no variables?
I'm also suggesting the vitriol of "begging for mercy" and not calling 911 is hardly a good policy from our government and definitely states clearly he cannot help anyone which will lead to more deaths and vigilantism.

kooler
kooler

hey haley barbour and bobby jindahl...another prime example of really stupid republican. keep them coming. and good dog happy man..that 4inch spread at 30 ft is the gap in your cerebral cortex.

Meagatronbomb
Meagatronbomb

So we should be armed at all times on the off chance an intruder shows up? Seems dangerous.

ggth
ggth

yes, nothing could go horribly wrong with this policy.

GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN
GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN

Although he'll certainly be pilloried for this by the anti-gun nuts, Sheriff Clarke is exactly right in saying, "You can either beg for mercy from the criminal, hide or fight back."

I learned firearm safety and how to shoot in a Parks and Recreation Department program a hundred years ago. I loved it. It was most wonderful. It taught me to define gun control as the ability to maintain a 4 inch spread at a distance of 30' with a Smith and Wesson .38 Police Special.

Imagine if only MSCR had the foresight to offer a similar program.

Would you, please?

Veritas.

Norman Thomson
Norman Thomson

And you have been attacked and used your gun how many times?

pikerover
pikerover

There is a big difference between a human and a piece of paper

what justice
what justice

This guy is admitting his incompetence and impotence. How can he continue to hold a position in law enforcement?

No he is admitting his department's limitations. Are you suggesting that he can really be at your house in 3 seconds and know when to come even when you can't get to a phone?
It's the truth. You can either beg, hide or try to defend yourself.

Infidel
Infidel

So, instead of calling attention to lack of funds (if that is the real problem), a Sheriff chooses to tell citizens that he can't do his job and we should do it for him? With all of our lack of understanding of rights and protections of both ourselves and the alleged criminal?
How is that not a recipe for disaster?

nufsenuf
nufsenuf

You may be the one with the lack of understanding of "rights and protections". In our homes and on our property, we have the right to be safe and the undeniable right of self protecion.In our homes and on our property, criminals have no rights.or presumtion of protection for criminal acts. If they want rights they can return to the street where they may have some. The sheriff has it right and you should learn to deal with truth.

He didn't say he couldn't do his job. He is calling a great deal of attention to the lack of funds. Maybe you don't understand your rights. I understand this - If someone tries to enter my home, and attack me or my family I will call 911 when I have the chance after I've taken care of the intruder. They can contact the coroner

Victor_Berger
Victor_Berger

Middleoftheroad. Buy your family body armor, and warn your neighbors. Also, get your wife a gun so she can return fire should you accidentally open up on her, lol.

Tara W
Tara W

With that logic Victor_Berger, we'll be attending your family's funeral and comforting you when you didn't do everything in your power to protect them from those hypothetical 2 guys who broke into your house.

Nevermind the nearly 2 million defensive gun uses each year against violent crime...according to the Office of Justice.

BobsYourUncle
BobsYourUncle

Infidel, Maybe you did not read the story closely enough. The sheriff DOES point out that due to lack of funds, they cannot put enough law enforcement on the streets. He say's;
Clarke says that because of layoffs and furloughs, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer the best option.

This is very smart on his part. Number one; his advice to arm yourself, is sure to garner large amounts of media and public attention. Number two; when he is asked why he offers this suggestion, he can have a forum to raise the issue of funding....Brilliant, simply brilliant!

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/milwaukee-county-sheriff-says-no-longer-best-option-urges-residents/article_923d87a6-672f-11e2-842c-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz2J1j7AQVn

SunnyJ
SunnyJ

Supreme Court has already ruled that police have no requirement to protect everyone. Get real. Those of us in rural areas have been our own first responders for years. Watching law enforcement cover for union lawbreakers during the protests also sent a definite message to Wisconsinites. You are on your own.