David A. Clarke Jr. has four decades of exemplary experience in law enforcement. During his 24 years of distinguished service at the Milwaukee Police Department, Clarke was a Patrol Officer, Homicide Detective, Lieutenant of Detectives, Shift Commander, Captain of Police, First District Commander, and Commanding Officer of the Intelligence Division.
In March 2002, Clarke was appointed Sheriff of Milwaukee County by Governor Scott McCallum. In November 2002, Clarke was elected to his first four-year term as Sheriff, earning 64% of the vote. Now in his fourth term, Clarke was re-elected in November 2006, 2010, and 2014, increasing his margins of victory to 73%, 74%, and 79% respectively.
A graduate of Marquette University High School, Clarke was a member of the varsity basketball team that won the state’s private school championship. Clarke graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University Wisconsin with a degree in Criminal Justice Management.
Clarke is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government, and participated in the Executive Development Program of the National Sheriffs’ Institute.
Clarke earned his M.A. in Security Studies from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security, in Monterey, California. His thesis analyzed the need to balance domestic intelligence operations with the protection of privacy rights and civil liberties.
Clarke’s leadership has not gone unnoticed. He has received countless awards including these:
– Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award from the American Conservative Union (ACU) at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
– Annie Taylor Award from the David Horowitz Freedom Center for “daring the odds” and exhibiting great courage by “going over the ledge when others would be afraid to even go near it.”
– Sheriff of the Year Award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association for “demonstrating true leadership and courage. . . staying true to his oath, true to his badge, and true to the people he has promised to serve and protect”.
– Americanism Award from the Milwaukee County War Memorial Veterans Board of Directors in “appreciation for his version of law and order.”
– Law Enforcement Leader of the Year award from the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
– Sheriff Buford Pusser National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
– Person of the Year Award from the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
Clarke testified as a witness before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (at the confirmation hearing of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General) and the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee (at the “Policing Strategies for the 21st Century” hearing).
Clarke is a frequent guest commentator for numerous media outlets including the Fox News Channel (Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Megyn Kelly, Bill O’Reilly, Neil Cavuto, and Uma Pemmaraju), Fox Business Network (Lou Dobbs and Charles Payne), and nationally syndicated talk radio programs.
Clarke was born and raised and educated and has lived his entire life in Milwaukee County. He and his four siblings were raised in a godly home by a stay-at-home mother and a father who, as an Army Airborne Ranger, became a combat veteran of the Korean War. A devout Christian who attended a Catholic high school and a Lutheran college, Clarke carries a prayer book at all times, and a crucifix hangs from his rear-view mirror.
In his public speeches, Clarke often quotes books authored by Judge Robert Bork and columns penned by Thomas Sowell. He has identified Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas, President Ronald Reagan, and actor John Wayne as his heroes.
Clarke’s weekly one-hour podcast (“The People’s Sheriff” on The Blaze Radio Network) is archived here, his must-read blog is published here, and his soon-to-be best-selling book, Cop Under Fire, can be purchased here.
David and his wife Julie, a prominent realtor, live in the home they built on the northwest side of Milwaukee.