Sheriff Clarke Switch to 5 point star wastes tax dollars for ego trip

5pointclarkestar.jpgWatchdog Milwaukee is a favorite among the law enforcement community. Why? Because we tell the stories that other news sources neglect.

Multiple Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department insiders contact me about various stories and I consider it an honor that they put so much trust in me but that honor comes with a responsibility to keep their identities safe so they will not lose their jobs.

The story below is from one of my sources that has information from inside the department.

The Sheriff has almost completed his switch over from the 7 point star to his favorite which he reputed to have a tattoo of , the 5 point star. Most vehicles, letter head, anything Department related, and the Deputies will now be sporting this new badge

Sheriff-badge.jpgDid I say Department, I’m sorry he changed that too… it’s the Sheriff’s OFFICE

What is the monetary cost to tax payers to do this for no other reason
other than for Sheriff Clarke to leave his mark upon the department?

Was there this urgent need to spend tax dollars to do this???? Should the department have two different badges if anything, only to distinguish between CO’s and Deputies.

The 5 point for the Deputy Sheriff Correctional Officers while the 7 point is traditionally for Law Enforcement certified officers and the Department

What do you think?

Note: Clarke does have a tattoo on his right upper arm of the 5 pointed star. You can catch a copy of the image here.



  1. Deputy Insider:

    It’s sad to think that Clarke has nothing better to do than spend money on changing the department logo. OOPs forgot, he ALSO went to Harvard and took some classes on YOUR DIME and you paid for his flight, lodging and food. Really, folks, the Sheriff’s expense account IS PUBLIC RECORD… if you care about your tax dollars you really need keep an eye on Clarke’s spending. I blame those voters that voted the party line for the improper use of tax dollars by the Sheriff. In todays political field,I honestly believe you have to pick a choose your representation… party lines have been blurred to an extreme.

  2. Zach W.:

    I just don’t see any logical reason to waste money switching to a five point star for the Sheriff’s Department, and I’d be curious to hear the rationale behind the decision, if in fact there is a rationale. I’d also be curious to know how much this change is going to cost, because those are more of my tax dollars that have been wasted – tax dollars that could have been spent improving the absolutely terrible conditions at the jail. Those are tax dollars that could have been spent on hiring a few more deputies, or perhaps on doing something to improve morale at the Sheriff’s Department.

  3. deputyinsider:

    per clarke ” the 5 point star is the traditional badge used by sheriff’s offices across the U.S.” There you go Zach. Although MANY sheriff’s departments use the 7 point star. You must fall back on the tattoo to find the REAL reason. Gang fact– historically, the 5 point star and the 6 point star have been associated with GANGS across the U.S. Gangs clarke, gangs.

  4. mkelover:

    Funny how you wack-jobs liberals love to bash a changeover in logo but don’t have a single article talking about yet another chapter in the pension scandal that was uncovered recently. Where the hell are your priorities????????

  5. Deputy Insider:

    Wack-jobs? I believe it’s the NUT-JOBS that fail to check data that need the help here. COUNTY EMPLOYEE DOES NOT EQUAL SHERIFF’S OFFICE PERSONNEL. But thanks for considering us! Of the 500 deputies left, less than 1/4 of them qualify for the DROP-BACK (1ST PENSION SCANDAL IF YOU FORGOT) and less than that 1/4 “bought back time.” Here’s the part you didn’t bother to look into… Buying back time means just that…buying! The money from buybacks went into the county spending fund. “DON’T HATE THE PLAYERS, HATE THE GAME” If you can’t figure that out ask a kid.

  6. Zach W.:


    When all else fails, conservatives inevitably fall back to name calling. I guess it’s too hard to be rational when you’re a conservative.

  7. mkelover:

    I never said this was a deputies vs. county employees thing…I just merely said that the latest pension scandal should be of more concern than a silly badge.

    By the way, did you realize that the taxpayers will not be paying for the new badges??? That money comes from asset forfeiture (drug busts, etc). And who really cares whether the badges have 7 or 5 points??? I think each Sheriff (Baldwin, et al) has a right to change the image of the Sheriff’s department into their own which would include branding, logo, etc.

  8. Deputy Insider:

    To YOU it is a silly badge to those who wear it, it’s PRIDE. It’s a part of you like a classic mustang or autographed Robin Yount bat… unless you’ve got it, it means nothing. I care less about the pension and the buy back because it effects me LESS! I don’t qualify for the back drop, buy back, rule of 75 and all those goodies Ament and his cronies bestowed upon themselves. Believe what you want about where the money comes from. The UNIFORM change is on the horizon…but I guess thats Forfeitures too, right? Funny, I work for the department and since we don’t really have a drug unit,and the courts plead tickets down all the time, I wonder where we are getting all this money from??

  9. Jim McGuigan:

    You realize of course that while you’re taking blind pot shots at Ament and his “cronies” that you’re getting sucked into the bogus rhetoric that the people who have also been attacking deputies are using.

    If you believe their bogus explanation about the pension scandal, then you’ll need to own their whole accusation that deputies are a bunch of no good cry babies. It’s a package deal.

  10. Jim McGuigan:

    I haven’t seen you criticizing Walker over this scandal. Six years on the job and every department head catering to his whims and he couldn’t find this problem before the media exposed it? Please.

    As for the star — quit trying to justify wasting money on it. Baldwin used drug bust money for other department related things that came up — not to stroke his own ego or match up to a tattoo. Unlike other departments, Baldwin would often offer up that fund if the County was short on cash. Why can’t Clarke? How can you justify defending him?

  11. Deputy Insider:

    Yes, Jim, there are a ton of whiners here that don’t realize what we have. Ament is gone and I’ll let that rest. However, my point about the badge stays.. you don’t understand the value of something you don’t have. The money to pay for all the changes, regardless of why, is still to be determined. Finally, I care about what effects this department first and foremost, silly badges and all.

  12. mkelover:

    There’s no question that a badge represents honor and commands respect in any law enforcement profession.

    But when badges become old, broken, and otherwise unprofessional looking it’s time to change them. Whether it’s a 7-point star, 5-point star, or a star with rainbows on it…it doesn’t matter. The professionalism of the department is what counts. So Clarke wants to use asset forfeiture to replace tattered badges with newer, better looking ones, who cares? Does he need union approval to go to the bathroom and use taxpayer funded toilet paper too? Seems to me that we have bigger fish to fry than the nominal cost of replacing badges. But as I have found out while following this blog site…anything Clarke does will be scrutinized to the nth degree and will ALWAYS be disagreed with, it’s like death and taxes!

  13. Jim McGuigan:

    How can you say the badges are broken or unprofessional looking? They look good and they’re elements of pride for the men and women who wear them. Also, they’re not something that easily breaks so I have no idea where you came up with that idea. If, by chance one breaks, would it not make more sense to replace the one that is broken rather than spend the money to replace hundreds of badges?

    We scrutinize Clarke here because he has earned the scrutiny. More than any other Sheriff in my lifetime, Clarke has blamed others for his own shortcomings. Law enforcement is like the military in the sense that the one at the top is always responsible should things go wrong. Clarke has never taken any responsibility and instead has always blamed the deputies despite the problems at times being Clarke’s own making. He is vindictive and rules his department like Captain Blye from Mutiny on the Bounty. He has earned scrutiny.

    As for death, it’s not something we would disagree with unless you don’t believe what I believe and that is that it is inevitable.

  14. mkelover:

    So by your logic, the Sheriff’s Department logo and badges, from their inception over 100 years ago, should never have been changed or upgraded? As I recall, Lev Baldwin and/or Rich Artison and/or Bob Kliesmet changed the logo/slogan of the Sheriff’s department when they were in power and no one slammed him for it.

    And who are you to claim to be an expert on the longevity, lifespan, upkeep, and replacement costs of badges? May we hear you wax on uniform maintenance as well?

  15. Lori Lowling-Kwiat:


    Do you have to, actually, sit on your head to write this stuff? And again, changing the TOPIC and name calling ..

    Being a professional in the field of graphics, let me tell you that a ‘RE-BRANDING’ costs THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS! THOUSANDS & THOUSANDS & THOUSANDS … On a tight budget, in the end, this bill will come in around $750,000-ish (that’s a LOW-ball guess-timate).

    This goes FAR beyond badges. There’s: identity packages (business cards & letterhead) for EVERYONE; building & auto signage; NEW Jackets; T-shirts; and a myriad of objects tagged with that LOGO. Then there’s the promotional stuff and signage for booths at public events. Brochures, Training & Procedure Manuels. But most costly the new work-up fees with the vendors: NEW PLATE WORK; SCREENS; STENCILS; with the printers, engravers & embroiderers. I could go on & on ….

    And, I am curious as to policy on how that work sourced out? Does anyone know? Are they contractually bound to use the current vendors for any duration? Are they required to consider local bids? Or (just wondering), does someone have a friend in the Sheriff business?

    Many wasted tax dollars, in my opinion.

    And, oh I dunno, I think asset forfeiture be better spent on community drug and alcohol counseling, city farming, feeding the homeless, work programs & putting more patrols on the streets in the core! Or, anything to that tune. Put reinvest the dollars back where they did the most damage???

  16. Jim McGuigan:

    You’re mistaken. Richard Artisan, Bob Kleismet and Lev Baldwin did not change the star.

    A badge is a piece of metal with a clip on the back of it. When they break they should be replaced. I never said anything about uniform maintenance so I have no idea where you drew your comment.

    It’s odd that you identify yourself as a conservative yet are justifying Clarke’s spending money on changing the departmental star from 7 points to 5 at a great cost to taxpayers. You do realize, that even if deputies sieze assets, that the deputies still have to be paid, right? How about using some of those asset seizures to pay deputies instead of going to the taxpayer for more?

  17. Deputy Insider:

    The county is supposed to get bidders(local first)for things of this sort. I see clarke went cheap as the badges are not engraved but have silk-screened wording, cheap. That makes his legacy , CHEAP! I would also HATE for someone to look into this issue with the sheriff’s office. LOTS of money being tossed around and I’d HATE for clarke to be violating the bidder requirement.

  18. Lori Lowling-Kwiat:


    Thanks for picking that up. Hopefully SOMEONE can dig that info up.

  19. marco:

    the big pension pay out only affects older big shots in the dept. the new badges and new uniforms for everyone is just another big waste of money that dep’s/co’s dont pay for but are you do.

  20. Bill Stocks:

    How much is budgeted each year for new uniforms, equipment, etc.?

  21. Michael:

    The seven point badge which was the departments first badge after their use of an MPD like badge. This was a department tradition. Of course under Clarke tradition is put to the side. Face it Clarke does not like the deputies of the department, except those that comply to his ways (TEU or whatever they are this day) and his beloved command staff (Oh Sheriff your the greatest sheriff ever). The five point badge is the Clarke stamp of approval. Now lets see in the six or so years Clarke has been sheriff he has yet to hire a deputy. Hmmmmm. Can you say lets diminish a department (In Clarkes Eyes) of goofs and headless nails. I guess he must spend the tax dollars on something, after all public safety is not his forte’. Hey wait for the red squad cars and everybody in correctional guard uniforms. It’s coming. Law Enforcement Officers my butt.

  22. Deputy Insider:

    uniforms $0….. thanks for playing

  23. Deputy Insider:

    equipment $0 deputies buy their own (after being issued the duty weapon)

  24. Deputy Insider:

    etc??? come on Bill you can do better than that!

  25. Bill Stocks:

    Deputy Insider –

    Once again – I was JUST asking a question. How you can keep reading into these e-mails what you think you are hearing is beyond me. Is there a budget for this kind of stuff? All you had to say was no. Then we move on.

  26. Bill Stocks:

    I haven’t chimed in until now, because I agree it is a waste of money. I will defend the man – only when I agree with him, not based on all of this political junk.

  27. Deputy Insider:

    Bill—-MOVE ON….please

  28. Michael:

    Right on Bill. Since Clarke has not hired a deputy since he started. He (The Department) has not have to shell out a dime. When a deputy is hired he/she is issued an uniform and various equipment. All within a budget. If the deputy is dismissed or quits within that year he/she is required to return all equipment including uniforms that they were issued. After there probation year they are issued a uniform allowence for maintainance of the equipment and uniform. If a sheriff issues a uniform change there are different ways of doing it. When Baldwin changed the shirts it was the responsibility of the deputy to pay for it based on the uniform allowence, same when Artison changed the patch. They also set a date for the changeover to be complete. Now the way the badges are being given out is not having the deputy pay for it. A good badge goes for about $70.00 ea. Now federal forfeiture funds come to mind. They are under certain rules as what they are spent on. My personal opinion, Clarke has taken money from some cut program and spent it on the badges. Nothing comes at $0. There is a price for everything.

  29. Bill Stocks:

    Thanks, Michael. I was not aware of the options that were or weren’t available. I appreciate the straighforward response.

  30. Chris:

    New developments in the July 24th entry. Check it out.

  31. Ironfinger:

    first off folks,lets play catch up.Being a retired DS for 25yrs, my first badge was a milw county deputy sheriffs badge,fashioned like the present MPD one. On or about 75ish,Sheriff Wolke issued me the 7 point.
    Now my good people, do you know how many uniforms clark has authorized? I had, when I joined the MCSD,asummer uniform, and a winter uniform,leather jacket,loong rubber yellow rain coat,boots, and etc. Today,the department has(and I really cant confirm this)EIGHT different uniforms. Now clark wants his patrol deputies to wear helmets. Wonder where he got that money?????
    Challenge? Request;use my nickname:”ironfinger”THANKS

  32. PocketPeeler:

    Here is another tidbit to demonstrate King Davids lack of planning and willingness to waste money, while claiming to be a fiscal conservative. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department has had a deparmental flag for decades or longer that served the purpose fine. Clarke decides he wants a new flag, and solicits ideas for its design. He picks one of the designs, and has the new flags made (at who knows what price or the source of the money). The new flags all have the 7 pointed star. Within 90 days or so of the distibution and posting of the new flags, the decision to go to the 5 pointed star is made. Shouldn’t the decision to go to a 5 point star have been made before the flag process was completed

  33. schiller,peter h.:

    clark is still up to his BS. Wonder who’s going to pay for the inmate that changed id bracelets?
    Saw the “new” star,looks like s–t.

  34. schiller,peter h.:

    my comment is for 01-01-08

  35. Deputy Insider:

    Peter, i don’t believe any DEPUTY will hang, a Deputy did not release the inmate, a CORRECTIONAL officer did. Since CO’s are clarkes babies, the CO will catch a slap on the wrist. Although in hind site, they ordered eye scanners… similar to the one’s we’ve use to scan children with for over a year. Hell, why use that in the jail? Oh, yeah, the public doesn’t care about the jail.

  36. Michael:

    Ladies and Gents,
    When Sheriff Clarke was appointed by Former Govenor Scott McCallum in March of 2002. I really thought that we were going to have an outstanding sheriff. In his inaguration speech (Which I attended) there was promise of a department that would get things done and move forward. He appeared at a union meeting where most in attendance stood in awe when he talked of a forward moving department where everyone would be a part of the runnng of the department, deputies rights would be adhered to, a cooperation between command staff and rank and file. All after the ‘No Confidence Vote’
    Clarke was a rising star. Talk radio called him the most “Significant African-American leader in Southeast Wisconsin” He was considered for other posistions HomelandSecurity and of course Mayor of Milwaukee. He was the answer to the problem whether law enforcement or not.
    He was a maverick. The peoples choice to get it all done
    So going on 6 six years what has happened? Cuts in personel, a complete disregard of the deputies unless they ‘tow the line’ to the Clarke way, a failed run for mayor, and absolutely nothing to fight crime. He calls for a plan that he never issued or complied with.
    What am I getting at? Sheriff Clarke is a ‘Has Been’. The leaders of the community really want nothing to do with him. He has become something that he has said he detests, a talker with nothing. Where is plan to eradicate guns? Deputy Schuh in the community gathering the info needed to fight the crime.
    There are many points of disscussion on Clarke. In my opinion he has nothing left to do but run the department. And where will that be. More posistion cuts, no hiring od deputies, just basically depleting the department. Just look at his transfering of one captain and four sergeants from the airport ( all under the guise of the women living at the airport). Of course this will be explained as for the good of the department. But mark my word this is step one in losing the contract and depleting deputies.
    I said it in the beginning and I’ll say it now. David A. Clarke is a ‘Fraud On The Community’ After all he did not run against Barrett did he? If he was truly wanted by the community (Not the 240,000 Democrat only votes that he recieves) he would be running hard against Barrett. The money would be flowing in, I think a ‘Fraud On The Community’

  37. schiller,peter h.:

    Okay people,lets play catch-up, its 08 not 07.
    Q:why are those city’s that abutt the expressway,doing the work of the squads.?

  38. Nan:

    As an FYI to Lori Lowling-MKELOVER, she is a pillpopping psycho whore who has no idea between reality and fiction. So I would take anything that was said by her with a grain of salt as she really has no concept except to degrade and demoralize everyone else before taking a nice and hard look at herself first. She would rather take her frustrations on others than admitting her personal faults. Heaven forbid!! Do what you need to do and but her in the looney bin file.. Best of luck…

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