By: Brian Sikma
Just six months after a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy died in the line of duty, a liberal Milwaukee columnist minimized the jobs of sheriff’s deputies. Joel McNally, a contributing columnist to the Shepherd Express and the CapTimes, blasted not only Sheriff David Clarke but also suggested that deputies don’t have much to worry about in their line of work. McNally’s column was primarily an attack on comments made by Sheriff Clarke about citizens assuming personal responsibility for their own safety.
In attacking the sheriff, McNally lumped the entire sheriff’s department together and belittled the hazards deputies face. He suggested that deputies are not involved dangerous occupations.
Even though Clarke wears a gunslingers playsuit in public, his office is hardly the first place citizens ever look for protection from violent crime.
The primary duties of the sheriffs office are to nab speeders on county freeways and to provide deputies for highly secure courtrooms and detention facilities.
McNalley is a frequent critic of Sheriff Clarke (D) and Governor Scott Walker (R) and regularly pens columns attacking their statements or actions.
The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office does oversee traffic enforcement on the several freeways that run through the county. Describing the work as simply to “nab speeders” may not sit well with the officers who do the work.
In July of last year, Sergio Aleman, a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy, was killed in the line of duty on the portion of the I-43 freeway that runs through downtown Milwaukee. Aleman died after his police vehicle crashed while responding to another accident on the interstate.
Deputy Aleman’s death was a reminder to the entire Milwaukee region that law enforcement officers, including those involved in highway patrols, are engaged in a dangerous occupation. Broad brushing deputies, who may or may not agree with their sheriff’s public statements, and dismissing the dangers of their occupation is hardly a way to show respect or prove a political point about their superiors.