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Sheriff Clarke attacks Chief Flynn over response times, not knowing Milwaukee

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. | Photos: TODAY'S TMJ4

Sheriff Clarke attacks Chief Flynn over response times, not knowing Milwaukee

By The WTMJ News Team. CREATED Dec 20, 2011 - UPDATED: Dec 21, 2011

Click here to listen to the entire interview of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke on  Wisconsin's Afternoon News.

MILWAUKEE - As the number of reports of fighting incidents on buses have increase, Milwaukee's top police officer and sheriff are fighting over the issue of bus safety.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has lashed out at Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn over statements Flynn made about Milwaukee County bus safety.

In a press conference Friday, Chief Flynn talked about using MPD officers on Milwaukee County buses saying, "The public pays us to protect them, not make excuses why we can't."

Flynn also said, "If there is concern about safety on the buses, we will step up and provide that safety."

Sheriff Clarke joined Wisconsin's Afternoon News on Tuesday and said, "I think that's some mighty big talk from a guy (Chief Flynn) who finds plenty of excuses when it comes to the issue of poor response times."

Sheriff Clarke said there needs to be a "dedicated force totally committed to transit security." Clarke said that you can't just react to a spike in a particular crime and then keep moving officers from crime to crime.

The sheriff continued to unload on Chief Flynn, calling the chief more of a salesman than a police officer, saying "I'm not going to engage in what I call 'illusionary policing' -- and this is a tactic."

Clarke went on to say, "and you continue to find some statistic that fits your model hoping people stop focusing on the issue."

Meanwhile, Sheriff Clarke pointed out that he has lived in Milwaukee his whole life and "knows the pulse of the people of Milwaukee." Meanwhile Sheriff Clarke said that Chief Flynn spent time in Virginia and Massachusetts and Chief Flynn shouldn't bring the culture of another area to Milwaukee.

Clarke went on to criticize Flynn for misusing statistics to mislead the public. He pointed out that Flynn said MPD, "checked 290 buses over the weekend and no problem," then Clarke went on to say that this is an example of a stat used to fit a model, but doesn't address a problem."

Buses are supposed to be patrolled by the sheriff and a private security company.

One Milwaukee alderman is questioning if the money spent on security guards would be better spent on real police.

Alderman Willie Hines told TODAY'S TMJ4, "It's obvious recently that they need help and they are not doing their job. From that perspective, I know MPD can and are capable of doing so."

Following Clarke's interview on Newsradio 620 WTMJ, we reached out to Chief Flynn, and he declined comment at that time.