MILWAUKEE --Breaking his silence Friday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. spoke on Friday for the first time since large crowds gathered at Sherman Park over the past few nights, which led to fights and vandalism.
"These people want safer neighborhoods," Clarke told TODAY'S TMJ4. "You know how you get safer neighborhoods? Consistent police presence. I'm trying to bring that. I can't do that without the resources. As long as continue to get these budgets, none of this is going to change."
Sherman Park is a Milwaukee County park, with the neighborhood surrounding that part of the City of Milwaukee. Together, sheriff's deputies and MPD officers have put out garbage fires and cleaned up broken windshields.
Clarke said his office doesn't deserve any blame for the recent hostility, and instead claimed the unrest is a reflection of the city's inability to fight crime.
"I like when people go to jail," the sheriff added tersely.
In a statement sent to TODAY'S TMJ4, Mayor Tom Barrett's chief of staff Patrick Curley said “We’re surprised [Clarke]'s so upset by a request to have county sheriff deputies patrol the county parks.”
MPD Chief Ed Flynn also responded to the sheriff, telling TODAY'S TMJ4, "I appreciate the efforts of the sheriff's deputies as they join my officers in keeping Sherman and other Milwaukee County Parks a safe place for families, but our jobs are not made easier by Sheriff Clarke’s bombast."