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Acting Milwaukee County Sheriff Submits Application for Position

Acting Milwaukee County Sheriff says he's cutting costs and cracking down on reckless drivers

Milwaukee County's acting sheriff has submitted his application to be appointed to the position. Richard Schmidt stepped into the post Sept. 1, when David Clarke suddenly resigned. Schmidt held a news conference Monday to talk about his first few weeks in office.

He says he's already made major changes in how his department operates and has found ways to cut costs. Schmidt also says he's helped improve public safety by cracking down on speeding.

Over the last few weeks, he says Milwaukee County deputies have written more than 800 additional speeding tickets. Schmidt says the most egregious ticket was for someone going 45-49 miles per hour over the speed limit.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that’s untenable. It’s unsafe and it’s putting every single person who is a citizen of the county as well as a visitor to this county in extreme danger. Again, we go by the motto we’re seizing the moment and we’re seizing the day to stop reckless and aggressive driving,” Schmidt says.

Schmidt also discussed the threat of gun violence, when he was asked about reports that shots had been fired on northbound I43 Monday. He says Milwaukee County needs to undergo a culture change, in order to bring an end to end to such violence.

“Is it possible to change the culture in this city? I honestly believe it is. But everybody’s going to have to get on board. The faith based communities need to get on board, which I know they are. The educational community needs to get on board. The families need to get on board. Every single aspect of our community must get on board to stop this horrific trend of violence in Milwaukee County,” Schmidt says.

Schmidt became acting sheriff, because he was next in line when David Clarke quit. Still, Governor Walker has the authority to appoint someone to serve the remainder of Clarke’s term. He would have faced re-election next fall. Schmidt has not indicated whether he plans to run for the post at that time.

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