Sheriff Clarke: DOJ Trying to ‘Emasculate’ Cops

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) alleged that the Justice Department was trying “to emasculate the American police officer” and “turn them into social workers” on Tuesday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.

“‘Transforming local policing,’ if you will, is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to what went on in Ferguson, Missouri, and it’s not necessary. Look, Neil, this is a slippery slope toward federalizing local law enforcement. That’s something that the founders of this country resisted, it was talked about by the Congress after World War I. and then as recently as the 9/11 Commission report to Congress, where the issue came up and they pushed back against this idea of federalizing policing in America. We don’t have a national police force, nor do we want one because of civil liberty issues, but I think there’s something else going on here, and this is the rat I smell in all this. This is an attempt by the Justice Department to emasculate the American police officer, to turn them into social workers. There’s a reason why we don’t have social workers policing in America, and it’s because it won’t work.”

Clarke clarified that he was referring to “some of the language that we were hearing when we were — when some important people in the country were talking about how local law enforcement has to change.”

Regarding body cameras for officers, Clarke said that he was for them and that “if it’s available, I think it should be looked at,” but “I think there’s a lot more that goes along with it though, that the United States Department of Justice has not even considered. Outfitting an officer with a camera, the outlay for that is not that extensive. I heard maybe as high as $250 a camera. The real costs come in with the infrastructure needed to retain the video, and to store the video and who’s going to pay that? Local law enforcement. So my board is going to take money away from me for other vital resources that I need for my officers because they need some of that money for the storage capacity necessary for cameras, I think that discussion needs to be had.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett