Sheriff Clarke upset over lack of security at safety building

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says the downtown Milwaukee courthouse and safety building are unsafe, after he says a door at the safety building was unmanned for about two hours Tuesday. Now, Clarke is blaming County Executive Chris Abele's Department of Public Works, which is in charge of security at the buildings.

Clarke says surveillance video shows a man entering through an unsecured entrance of the security building Tuesday morning. Clarke says the DPW has been occasionally leaving doors with too little or no security screeners for some time now. Clarke says he's tried communicating the problem to County Executive Chris Abele, who is in charge of the DPW, but hasn't gotten any response.

"I'll be darned if I stand by and see what I saw yesterday on this video, and shrug my shoulders and say 'if one gets through, that's okay.' It's not okay," Sheriff Clarke said.

Interim County Facilities Manager Gary Waszak says the sheriff should be working with him, instead of getting the media involved. Waszak says staffing levels at security checkpoints are just fine. He says Tuesday at the door in question, an electronic pad to prevent people from coming in malfunctioned, and the door is now completely closed off.

Staffers for Abele argue this is just the latest angry and politically motivated outburst by Clarke since his budget was cut by the County Executive. Meanwhile, Clarke dismisses any ulterior motives, and says from now on, he'll assign deputies on overtime to make sure security screening is up to his standards.