Sheriff Clarke talks PSA controversy, attending graduate school

CREATED Feb 5, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Sheriff David Clarke's not backing down or away from his remarks that set off a national debate about guns and calling 911.

Clarke's radio ad suggesting 911 isn't your best option against crime created a huge firestorm.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson asked Clarke if he thinks the message got across or was it misconstrued?

"The message came through loud and clear," he answered.

Sheriff Clarke was all over Cable news talking about his radio ad. Now, he's back in town and talking about it on our new show - Wisconsin Tonight.

Clarke says there's a reason 155,000 state residents have requested concealed carry permits.

"That's 155,000 people that can help me and I can help them in certain situations as it relates to personal safety not policing the streets," he said.

But others in law enforcement worry Clarke is sending the wrong message about 911 and police response times.

" He just set us back 15 years," said Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls last week. "I need you to call 911."

"They aren't comparing apples to oranges," said Clarke. "To compare Greenfield and Dodge County to the central city of Milwaukee, it' just not logical."

Clarke's opponents are also now questioning why he never publicly disclosed that he's getting a Master's Degree from a Homeland Security school in California.

"It's an honor to be selected," said Clarke. "600 people applied, 31 got in."

The 18 month online counter terrorism program requires Clarke to be in California seven sessions for about two weeks for each session .

"It's helping me with the job that I have to do every day," said Clarke.

Sheriff Clarke made it clear the program is paid with federal dollars not money from Milwaukee County.

Oak's Creek's former Police Chief Tom Bauer attended the same program a few years ago.