America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 34

C O V E R

S T O R Y

LET'S STAND WITH AMERICA'S POLICE
commitment, their sacrifices-they
instead chose a twisted brand of
political opportunism to score points
with certain constituencies.
This disappoints, shocks and
outrages me. I expect such rhetoric
from charlatans like Al Sharpton, but
not from leaders who should know
better. This could have been Obama's
"Gettysburg Address" moment. He
could have brought the country back
together and tried to create some
healing. Instead, he poured salt on
a wound.
So what do we do now? How do
we stop this demagoguery and move
forward toward real solutions? In my
decades as a law enforcement officer, I
have come to a few conclusions that I
think can help.

1

Realize Who
Police Officers Are
I faced my first tragic struggle with
the loss of a friend and fellow officer
a couple of years after we graduated
from the academy (what we call
"recruit school") and joined the
Milwaukee Police Department (mpd)
in 1978. He and another officer
were pursuing a hold-up suspect
on foot after dark on the streets of
Milwaukee. The officers who were
killed were young cops, just like me.
We'd graduated the same year. The
suspect ambushed them in an alley. I
responded to that call for backup.
These officers died trying to protect
the community. It could have been
me. It could have been any of us.
That's why I say a part of us dies every
time we lose an officer. The officer in
my recruit class, John Machajewski,
left behind a wife who was three
months pregnant. Because he was
killed, a family was robbed of their
husband and father. We caught the
culprit, but the wound he opened can
never be healed.
In the decades since, I've lost other
friends who accepted the responsibility
and risks of being a police officer.


America's

1

st

Freedom

|

March 

In 2013, I visited the National Law
Enforcement Officers Memorial in
Washington, d.c., during an annual
ceremony that honors our fallen police
officers-our too-often-unsung heroes.
I went because I'd lost another officer
in 2012. Everyone should witness this
moving ceremony. The names of the
fallen are read as families and police
officers from across the nation light
candles in the dark.
I became a detective with the mpd
in 1989, and nine months later was
selected for the specialized Homicide
Division. There, I was part of a team
that investigated more than 400
homicides in a four-year period. In that
time, I learned how important it is for
citizens to utilize their constitutional
rights to protect themselves. I also
learned, night after night, what police
officers do for all of us. And I learned
who they are. They are our neighbors,
our brothers and our sisters. They are
us. We don't live in a police state. We
are a free people who ask only a small
percentage of our finest citizens to
serve-to protect us.
In 1996, I was promoted to mpd's
command staff as captain of police,
and soon became commander of
the department's First District. In
March 2002, Gov. Scott McCallum
appointed me sheriff. Eight months later
I was elected to my first four-year term.
I've won re-election three times since.
As my experience has taught me how
fundamental a law-abiding citizen's
right to own and carry firearms is to
our free society, I have broadcast that
message on radio and television. As a
result of this stance, in my last primary,
I was challenged by out-of-state money
from anti-freedom people such as
Michael Bloomberg. Still, the people
voted for me. They appreciate that I
tell it like it is and that I stand behind
my words with action. I tell you this
simply to point out that I am not an
exception. The vast majority of your
police officers are honorable, humble
and heroic people.

2

Hold Officers To
A High Standard
Police officers aren't perfect. We are
human beings. We make mistakes.
Sometimes we have to act under duress.
We have to make split-second decisions
that could take someone's life, or could
get us killed.
Still, we are the best our
communities have to offer. We go
out every day and put our best foot
forward, often under very difficult
circumstances. Sometimes things go
wrong. But because mistakes sometimes
occur doesn't mean we should
condemn an entire profession.
Holder has said we in law
enforcement engage in systematic
racial profiling, yet he won't even define
what "racial profiling" is. He says that
changes need to be made, and that
America's police officers are at fault. I
reject that narrative. I believe America's
police officers represent what is best
about this country.
As a sheriff, I strongly advocate public
outreach for my deputies. I want them
out in the community. You shouldn't only
see them when something bad happens
or when you've broken a traffic law. You
should see them in the community and
know them as people-as partners in
keeping America safe.
When I was first elected sheriff
of Milwaukee County, I learned
that we didn't have a code of ethics
citizens could read and use to hold
us accountable. I adopted a code and
had it tacked up around our office and
around the communities we serve.
Members of my department know
this code, and I also encourage people
throughout our county to read it and
hold the officers they see and pay
accountable to it.
Our "Law Enforcement Code of
Conduct" includes language on integrity,
confidentiality and the use of force.
It says, "The use of force should be
used only with the greatest restraint
and only after discussion, negotiation
and persuasion have been found to be
inappropriate or ineffective." Our actions
show we stand behind these words.
Our code also says, "A police officer
shall perform all duties impartially,
without favor of affection or ill will



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - March 2015

Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 4
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 5
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 6
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 7
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 8
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 9
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 10
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 11
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 12
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 13
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 14
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 15
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 16
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 17
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 18
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 19
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 20
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 21
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 22
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 23
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 24
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 25
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 26
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 27
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 28
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 29
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 30
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 31
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 32
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 33
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 34
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 35
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 36
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 37
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 38
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 39
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 40
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 41
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 42
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 43
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 44
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 45
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 46
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 47
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 48
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 49
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 50
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 51
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 52
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 53
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 54
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 55
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 56
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 57
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 60
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 61
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 62
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 63
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 64
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 65
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 66
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover4
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