With Primary Election Behind Him, Clarke Focuses on Budget

Aug 13, 2014

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke discusses budget priorities
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke discusses budget priorities
Credit Marti Mikkelson

Less than a day after his gripping primary election Tuesday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke expressed an interest in getting back to his job.

Clarke outlasted a challenge from Milwaukee Police Lieutenant Chris Moews on Tuesday, garnering 52 percent of the vote.

The sheriff says his next order of business is crafting a budget. Sheriff Clarke summoned reporters to meet him outside the courthouse Wednesday afternoon. He wanted to reiterate that his top priority is public safety.

Clarke’s office is charged with patrolling the parks and providing protection at the courthouse. He says he’s down more than 200 deputies, so he’ll push county leaders to add more positions in next year’s budget. Clarke says he’s particularly concerned about security at the courthouse. A private security firm staffs the checkpoints.

“I don’t want to stand out at a news conference like this explaining to you all, why some guy was able to get a weapon into family court and shoot and kill his wife or some other thing like that. I’d rather have the press conference about why it’s costing more money to keep these things safe,” Clarke says.

Clarke says he might even provide deputies to help the Milwaukee Police Department fight crime in the city, if he had the resources. The sheriff’s comments coincide with town hall meetings County Executive Chris Abele is holding this week on Milwaukee County’s budget for 2015.