Ex-Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s horse patrol is phased out to help balance a $5 million budget deficit, says his successor, Richard Schmidt.
So much for the horse that former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. used to ride into town, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Faced with a big budget hole, Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt has halted the department’s use of its horse patrol. “Due to balancing the $5 million deficit in the budget, Acting Sheriff Schmidt is no longer funding the Mounted Unit,” said Capt. Scott Stiff. The four horses for the unit cost $17,788 in 2016. Fran McLaughlin, spokeswoman for Schmidt, said there had been six deputies who have the training to be part of the unit. McLaughlin said those deputies were assigned to specific events, not as full-time roughriders.
Playing his role as Milwaukee’s cowboy, Clarke would ride one of the horses — while wearing one of his dozen Stetsons — in parades and other events with large gatherings or TV cameras. Clarke has said he did the cowboy shtick in honor of his uncle, who played football for the Dallas Cowboys. Clarke stepped down in August to take a job with a pro-President Trump super PAC, America First Action, as a spokesman and senior adviser.