Review: Cop Under Fire by Sheriff David Clarke Jr.


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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆



What it’s about:

America has become increasingly divided and polarized in recent years. With growing racial tension, animosity toward law enforcement professionals, government corruption, and disregard for the constitutional process, there seems to be no easy answer in sight. But Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke knows where we must begin: we must stop blaming others; look at our problems with open eyes; take ownership of our family, community, and country; and turn to God for solutions. Deeply rooted in Sheriff Clarke’s personal life story, this book is not a dry recitation of what has gone wrong in America with regard to race. It’s about the issues that deeply affect us today—both personally and politically—and how we can rise above our current troubles to once again be a truly great people in pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

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Tom’s Thoughts:

Cop Under Fire is an autobiographical account of David Clarke Jr.’s upbringing and career in law enforcement. The book is Sheriff Clarke’s perspective on race, crime and polarized politics in present America postulating both a recent deterioration in the fabric of American society and a prescription for improvement.

The book presents these topics in a matter of fact way by drawing from Clarke’s first hand experiences growing up, as well as his personal experiences during a very successful career in law enforcement. Sheriff Clarke links his childhood experience to his career success by anecdotally relating stories of cause and effect and the relationship between the two in his childhood while highlighting parallels to his career experiences. Sheriff Clarke believes, as many do, that crime and criminal behavior are greatly influenced by upbringing (or lack thereof) resulting from poor or absent role models. Sheriff Clarke is the product of a working class household where work ethic, discipline, love, and responsibility were highly present. He has found in his career that incarcerated criminals who did not enjoy a similar childhood family environment are often devoid of discipline and self esteem, and respond to prison programs that introduce discipline and self esteem in the prison environment in an attempt to create a sense of responsibility and ownership, thereby reforming criminals into functioning adult citizens after prison.

After describing his success in improving the prison system in this manner, the Sheriff then applies his learning from this cause and effect analysis to prescribe a “solutions blueprint” for making headway on problems of race, crime, and law enforcement relations currently plaguing America.

The power of this book is created by the freshness of the author’s writing that is underpinned by its pure objectivity. Sheriff Clarke depoliticizes very politically charged topics with the use of data and his ability to show how he used cause and effect hard data to deliver the results that hastened his rise through the ranks of Wisconsin law enforcement to become a nationally recognized leader and expert.

Sheriff Clarke’s data driven objectivity is further enhanced by his believability, some of which is also created by personal circumstance. While Mr. Clarke is definitely “conservative”, he details how after being appointed Sheriff to fill a vacancy, he ran for re-election as a Democrat, lending credence to the notion that he is truly bipartisan and that neither political party has a monopoly on good data driven ideas. Sheriff Clarke also reveals that he is married to a white woman. A testimony to Sheriff Clarke’s character is that this last fact which could be seen by many as neutralizing race in any of his writing about law enforcement and Black America, is totally overshadowed by his unrelenting desire as a leader in law enforcement to improve conditions in America’s inner cities and thereby deliver fellow Black Americans from poverty.

Sheriff Clarke has written a truly engaging book and in so doing has made it easy to understand why he is quickly turning into a contemporary American hero.


Follow the author: Facebook

Publisher: Worthy Publishing


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