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Milwaukee County Sheriff
To Protect (maybe) and Serve (if we feel like it)
While this tale is about something that happened in Milwaukee County it is also a cautionary tale of what happens when taxes and budgets are cut in an irresponsible manner. Before Scott Walker was elected as governor of Wisconsin he was the Milwaukee County Executive. In that role he slashed budgets. At one point during his term a chunk of concrete fell off a county owned parking ramp killing a child.

When Scott Walker became governor the slash and burn budgeting continued. Shared revenue to cities was cut. Unrealistic caps were put on property taxes forcing cities, counties, and school districts across the state in a financial bind. This combined with Act 10 has devastated Wisconsin.

In no place is this more evident than in Milwaukee County. After years of irresponsible budgeting the county has struggled to pull itself out of the hole. This past year Milwaukee County was forced to lay off 48 deputies. That is what irresponsible budgeting does.

The story does not end there though. Milwaukee County has a tea party sheriff and instead of fighting for a decent budget for his department, instead of pressing his case for why those 48 deputies are necessary he comes out with a radio ad that tells the citizens of Milwaukee County to become vigilantes (mp3 link).

Clarke urges listeners to take a firearm safety course and handle a firearm "so you can defend yourself until we get there."

"You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We're partners now. Can I count on you?"

What the Milwaukee County Sheriff is requesting from the public is irresponsible. The duty of law enforcement is to protect and to serve. This post is not about gun control, it is not about whether or you should or should not have a firearm to protect yourself in your home. It is about irresponsible budgeting. When vital services like law enforcement, fire protection, education, ambulance services, and the list goes on and on are cut, the quality of life in a community declines.

Don't believe me? This happened shortly after the sheriff's ad:

The sign out front says trespassers will be shot, survivors will be shot again.

On Saturday, Cooper was arrested for firing one shot into the air after getting into an argument with a relative.

She's now in the county jail for a couple of misdemeanor gun violations.

In the criminal complaint she is said to have quoted Sheriff Clarke. Cooper said she knows her rights regarding having a firearm because she heard Sheriff Clarke on the radio stating that she could own a gun to protect herself.

This is the conservative self-fulfilling prophecy of government doesn't work. They make sure that government is unable to function by not funding government programs. When that program fails it is the fault of the government. Never once mentioning that there is not enough funding to hire the necessary people to to the job.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Democracy Addicts, and Madison Kossacks.

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