Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s decision to assign sheriff’s deputies to provide only partial security for President Obama’s visit to Milwaukee this week is drew strong criticism from Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr. and County Board Chairman Lee Holloway. President Hines called the Sheriff’s decision “appalling,” and said it is the first time in his memory that Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputies will not be fully a part of the law enforcement team providing security for a visiting President.
“I believe the unprecedented decision by Sheriff Clarke is clearly an attempt to put politics ahead of duty, and ahead of the Sheriff’s sworn commitment to provide security and safety for a visiting dignitary of the highest order — our Commander In Chief,” he said. “The Sheriff obviously cares little about that sworn commitment, and is focused instead on scoring some temporary political points with a portion of his constituency.”
Chairman Holloway said: “It’s the Sheriff’s sworn duty to provide adequate protection for all citizens, including dignitaries that visit our community. I’m concerned that Sheriff Clarke is providing less protection to our current President than he has for previous Presidents.”
“I’m really disappointed that the Sheriff is playing heavy politics with security for dignitaries. I really thought more of the Sheriff, and I hope that he adds additional security both today and in future presidential visits,” Chairman Holloway said.
President Hines said the sheriff’s “embarrassing” decision will make it easier for those who believe there is a need to seriously study a metro police department (for all of Milwaukee County ) that removes the elected, political element from the Sheriff’s Office. “I promise that I will be a part of that effort, so that we do not repeat this type of deplorable and disrespectful action toward a visiting President again,” he said.