Irresponsible Sheriff promotes wild west tactics

By Robert Miranda

A public service announcement (PSA) voiced by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says, “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.”

In response, Mayor Barrett referred to the PSA as “fear mongering.”

“What was most disturbing to me is, if there’s an emergency, I want people to call 911. And to have the Sheriff just put out what I consider to be a public disservice announcement, discouraging people from calling 911, it’s just wrong,” said Barrett.

What motivates the Sheriff of Milwaukee County to basically abandon rational and reasonable options at fighting crime is answerable only by the Sheriff.

Instead of sounding the panic alarm and using the media to tell citizens to arm themselves, the Sherriff might have been more helpful in fighting crime had he asked citizens to: 

1. Secure surroundings. The Sherriff says that burglaries are on the rise. Well, why not ask the public to have a family meeting and go over ways they can secure their homes and other property? Checking to see that windows are secure, locking doors, lighting up dark areas outside of the house and making sure garage doors are locked would be a good reminder to the public to help stem the rise of burglaries.

2. Be aware of your surroundings. The Sheriff says that armed robberies are on the rise. Instead of asking citizens to put themselves in harm’s way by arming themselves, other options could have been suggested. Such as: a) avoid high crime areas. b) walk in well-lit public places. c) walk in areas where there are people you can ask help from. d) do not resist. Give the robber what they demand. More often than not no one gets hurt. 

Referencing sensible kinds of approaches to fighting crime normally do not attract media attention like calling for citizens to arm themselves from the hordes of “evil doers” lurking on our streets. 

But then again, since when do we ever hear anything that makes sense coming from reactionaries?

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Last edited by tyler schuster.   Page last modified on January 30, 2013

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