Straightforward Sheriff David Clarke Accepts DHS Post, Bolstering Police Agencies’ Needs


“Clarke volleyed his voice against those who sought to slander, lambast, condemn and unfairly criticize law enforcement officers throughout the prior eight-year presidential reign.”

While thousands attend and millions more embrace and remember 20,000-plus fallen cops during National Police Week, something quenching was brewing in Milwaukee. And it sure is timely.

Straightforward Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke was tapped by President Donald Trump to join the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A focal figure whose oft-televised pro-police views were conveyed by myriad media outlets, Sheriff Clarke will be responsible for liaising with America’s 18,000-plus law enforcement agencies (and local governments) as the DHS assistant secretary of the Office of Partnership and Engagement.

If ever there were a perfect person for the job, perhaps this is it. Considered a conservative Democrat, Sheriff Clarke obliged the American police function more than his political affiliation. Despite his political designation, Clarke spoke at the Republican National Convention and supported Mr. Trump throughout his presidential bidding. Commonly, Clarke volleyed his voice against those who sought to slander, lambast, condemn and unfairly criticize law enforcement officers throughout the prior eight-year presidential reign. He has not relented.

It was only a matter of time before the changing of the guard employed a pro-police beacon to cast light upon and mend significant damage done by the prior administration as well as anarchists’ movements. No friend of BLM, Clarke proudly sparred with cop-hating groups’ members. As American cops brush themselves off from the blast detonated by former President Obama and his contingent of minions, a straight-shooting lawman in Milwaukee takes flight to a federal seat, particularly representing our American police institution often heralded by President Trump.

What better way for DHS to commemorate National Police Week than to add a vibrant veteran law enforcement expert to its cadre of federal officials?

Stifled Voices

While the prior administration and its bold anti-police rhetoric slowly leeched the blue blood from our country’s courageous cops, law enforcement seemed abandoned, listless, and maligned. No one could deny cops were targeted, often literally! As ambushes and assassinations of cops molded into a grotesque part of American culture, Obama busied himself in a way that seemingly exacerbated matters, like declaring resolution while activating a flamethrower.

With some of his cabinet appointees, he spent time on so-called police reform measures. His 21st-century police reform package contained lowering police hiring standards and boldly overlooking criminal histories to attract minorities as police candidates. How any balance was to come of that remains unclear. And it kept on coming down the pike like an avalanche of dusty boulders versus shiny badges.

As recently mentioned here on OpsLens, Obama’s White House never displayed blue. Not a solitary blue bulb was illuminated honoring fallen police heroes, not even during our annually held National Police Week, which is within view of the Oval Office. Instead, the former commander-in-chief skirted our core system of seeking truth and choked the police institution by plunging anti-cop rhetoric down its throat.

Erosion continued. Hate-filled groups festered and strengthened from the ugly steroids infused by far left philosophies. Extremism was shared via social media, widening the law-and-order chasm. Anarchy subjected many cities to its putrid performance and its ostensible requirement: destruction. Many cop shops were ordered to stand down and were left to observe decay in motion.

As then-President Obama visited with families whose taste buds spewed the flow of “implicit bias” against police, further inflating tensions, others railed against defaming police. In the name of constitutional rights, violent behaviors and unrelenting defamation vilified the police in their mission to uphold the Constitution. DC leadership lit a match and fanned the flames, day in and day out.

Then November 2016 arrived, and the extinguishing of anti-police sentiments commenced with a full bucket of Trump.

A New Sheriff in Town

Iconic cowboy hat and all, the new sheriff in town whips up support for our men and women responsible for enforcing our nation’s laws. Exceptionally, Clark’s appointment by President Trump requires no Senate confirmation hearings, swiftly enabling getting down to business. And Sheriff Clarke is no novice when it comes to engagement. Sheriff Clarke daggered his Are you kidding me? stare into the cranium of CNN anchor Don Lemon who, in a July 2016 interview, attempted to squelch Clarke by suggesting he hush his tone while discussing slayings of police officers.

In that CNN interview, Sheriff Clarke’s intense facial expression and words overshadowed Don Lemon looking at the studio camera as if summoning parental direction.

Much like Congressman Trey Gowdy (R – SC), Sheriff Clarke brings a brand of constitutional conviction to the table. Color cards are absent. Instead, journals of jurisprudence are in full scope and applied with inherent equality and accord. Like every other cop who swore the same oath, solution-based Sheriff Clarke echoes the principles of our national covenant, including responsibility to each other. And that makes him ideal for the liaison position, the purpose of which is to congeal the mortar around cops who seek to secure our country and rid us of its malfeasance.

Galvanizing the Thin Blue Line

As we commemorate National Police Week, it is a sobering sight for sore eyes to witness a lawman depart the Milwaukee periphery and enter the national arena to sync up with our cops. Finally, the order of policing is back on the table and the swamp is a bit less mucky, as President Trump promised.

As slain cops are eulogized and the memorial bells’ clangs waft across American geography, David Clarke becomes a befitting sounding board for both the living and the dead oath-keepers.

A Causes.com petition recently started by A Better America sought my endorsement upon its signature page. Typifying some of the points made herein, the following language is contained in the petition’s body:

“Rule of law is necessary in civilized society and police officers are responsible for enforcing it. In order for them to be effective, and able to maintain their authority, they need the support of their communities. Sadly, law enforcement officials don’t get the recognition they deserve and are criticized, heckled and worse instead. It’s time we show them the support and appreciation they deserve.”

I concur: it is time. It’s been time. I assume the “worse instead” part means ambushes and assassinations of police officers. That is the stark reality that the talking heads among a prior administration allowed to continue…until now.

Despite the entanglements warriors encounter on the battlefield, brothers and sisters do not let go when bullets zip, when flesh is pierced, when wounds gape, and when the devil gets within breathing distance. They hold on, like a mission-focused leader and liaison holds all elements together in the face of hardship as well as victory.

Tellin’ it like it is—unapologetically, as Sheriff Clarke will have it no other way.

Stephen Owsinski

Stephen Owsinski is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and retired law enforcement officer whose career included assignments in the Uniformed Patrol Division and Field Training Officer (FTO) unit. He is currently a researcher and writer. Follow Stephen on Twitter @uniformblue.

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