Throughout my life and career, I have been dedicated to the study and pursuit of justice, and I am committed to doing all that I can to make citizens safer.
Born and raised in the City of Milwaukee, I played on the championship varsity basketball team at Marquette University High School. I went on to earn a degree in Criminal Justice Management from Concordia University Wisconsin, graduating summa cum laude. As part of my ongoing educational studies, I also graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy and the National Executive Institute in Quantico, Virginia.
Over the past three-and-a-half decades, my career in law enforcement has spanned multiple assignments. My journey of service began with the Milwaukee Police Department in 1978, where I helped protect the city for 11 years as a patrol officer on the streets. After promotion to Detective in 1989, I was assigned to the Homicide Division, investigating close to 100 homicides a year as part of a team and making arrests in over 80% of cases.
Sheriff Clarke won the 2013 Sheriff of the Year Award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association for, “Demonstrating true leadership and courage…and staying true to the people he has promised to serve and protect.”
My leadership was recognized again in 1992, with a promotion to Lieutenant of Detectives, and in 1996, when I was promoted to the rank of Captain of Police, with assignments as Commander of the Crimes Against Property Division, the departments First District (downtown), and the Intelligence Division.
In 2002, I won my first election as Sheriff with a margin of 64%. In 2006, I garnered 73% of the vote, proceeding to win 74% in 2010.
Like me, most people question why the Office of Sheriff is a partisan election. I have never asked a person to vote for me because I run as a Democrat. I ask them to vote for me based on my 35-year commitment to keeping citizens safe. Most voters get it when it comes to public safety. There is no Democrat or Republican way to be a sheriff. The enemy is not the opposing party; the enemy is the criminal.