UPDATE: Milwaukee mayor criticizes sheriff's PSA - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Milwaukee mayor criticizes sheriff's PSA

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MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is speaking out against a public service announcement issued this week by the Milwaukee County Sheriff.

Sheriff David Clarke's radio message says law enforcement officers might be delayed when responding to a 911 call because of layoffs and furloughs, so he is asking listeners to get guns and learn how to use them.

Mayor Tom Barrett said Saturday he believes Sheriff Clarke is sending the wrong message.

"What's most troubling to me, if there's an emergency I want people to call 911," Barrett said. "And to have the sheriff put out what I consider a public disservice announcement discouraging people from calling 911 is just wrong."

After hearing of the criticism of his message, Sheriff Clarke said having a gun might have helped Mayor Barrett, when he was beaten while trying to defend a woman near State Fair Park in August of 2009.

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MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin sheriff says he released an ad calling on residents to defend themselves because the old model of having a citizen call 911 and wait for help isn't always the best option.

In the ad, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. tells residents that when it comes to personal safety: "I need you in the game." He urges citizens to learn to use firearms so they can "fight back" until authorities arrive.

The ad had drawn sharp criticism from other area officials. The president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriff's Association, Roy Felber, says it sounds like a call to vigilantism.

But Clarke says he can either whine about budget cuts that have reduced the number of deputies or call on citizens to work with officers in some situations. 

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