The new acting Milwaukee County Sheriff held his first news conference Tuesday. Richard Schmidt said public safety is his top priority. Schmidt also said he’s asked the National Institute of Corrections to review all aspects of the county jail. Four inmates died in a recent six-month span under former sheriff David Clarke’s watch.
“What I want right now is for people to be calm, to understand that yeah, there might be a new sheriff in town, but we’re concerned about public safety.
Schmidt said he’s frozen the Sheriff’s office budget, and that he wants to restore good will with the community. “If I find out any of our officers are in any way, shape, manner or form disrespectful to any group, based on their ethnic-religious background, sexual orientation or otherwise, they’re going to have a problem with me.”
Clarke abruptly resigned last week to take a job with a political action committee that supports President Trump. Governor Scott Walker will name a replacement to serve out the remainder of Clarke’s term, which expires next year.
Clarke enjoyed freely sharing his opinions on social media, using the platforms to attack other elected officials and groups such as Black Lives Matter. Schmidt said that’s not going to be his primary means of communcation.
“I don’t Twitter. I’m not good with Facebook. If you show up, I’ll hold a press conference. I’m more than happy to meet one-on-one. If you have questions, I intend to be very open as long as I’m here.”