Sheriff Clarke urges citizens to arm themselves

CREATED Jan 25, 2013 - UPDATED: Jan 25, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - “Can I count on you?”

It’s the question Milwaukee county Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., asks residents in a new radio spot about personal safety.

AUDIO: Click to hear the radio spot

“With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option,” he states.

Clarke tells residents personal safety isn’t a spectator sport, and “I need you in the game.”

“You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back, but are you prepared?”

Clarke suggests listeners take a firearm safety course and learn how to handle a firearm “so you can defend yourself until we get there.”

Clarke calls residents “partners” and says “You have a duty to protect yourself and your family.”

Jodie Tabak, spokeswoman for Mayor Tom Barrett, released this statement from the mayor’s office:

“Apparently, Sheriff David Clark is auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie.”

The Greenfield Police Dept. posted the following statement on its Facebook page:

-No Greenfield officers have been laid off or furloughed.
-Violent crime is down overall and in Greenfield
-Our response time to violent crime is less than two minutes
-The decision to arm yourself with a firearm is a very personal and private decision that should not be driven by fear that our officers will not respond to your calls for help.

County executive Chris Abele done verbal battle with the sheriff in the past. Today, he did not hold back.

“I think it's irresponsible and it doesn't help public safety to tell the public that there's some kind of immediate danger that they need to go buy guns,” said Abele.