MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is never at a loss for words.
A recent public service announcement by him asking people to consider taking a safety course in handling a firearm to defend themselves until help arrives, raised a few eyebrows.
“Personal safety is an individual responsibility that people play a role in and I trust law-abiding citizens to handle that responsibility should they want to play that role,” says Sheriff Clarke.
This message also caught the attention of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, which named him "Sheriff of the Year."
"Honored, humbled at the same time, when you`re recognized by your peers it`s special," says Sheriff Clarke.
When Sheriff Clarke arrived near St. Louis, Missouri to attend the banquet for his award, the storms began rolling in.
It was right in the middle of the ceremony when the power went out and everyone was evacuated to a storm shelter.
With only the emergency lights on, Sheriff Clarke received his award while standing on a chair.
"Come hell or high water I was bringing that award back for the people of Milwaukee County," says Sheriff Clarke.
Once the sheriff was cleared to leave the shelter, the power was still out.
With his badge proudly displayed he stepped in to help people.
"There`s power in that uniform and when an officer flags someone down it`s going to get their attention," says Sheriff Clarke.
Although it wasn't the experience he anticipated, it's one he'll never forget.