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Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt says he eliminated the county’s equine unit, some security patrols

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt says he has cut the county’s equine patrol unit and is ending some security patrols that started under the controversial former sheriff, David Clarke.

Schmidt made the decisions public during a Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors committee meeting. He was detailing cost-cutting measures he’s implemented in the past six weeks since taking over when Clarke resigned at the end of August.

Schmidt said he cut the county’s equestrian unit because “we don’t have the ability to pay for it.”

Schmidt said he has cut back on security commitments made under Clarke, telling supervisors that he has made it clear that his office can’t do any security patrols on overtime. That includes security at Clarke’s Milwaukee home, which cost the county $226,801 in deputy pay and benefits in 2017, according to previously released records.

Craig Peterson, the spokesman for Clarke’s political operation, did not directly answer a question about why Clarke had continued the costly practices when he was in office.

“The sheriff will not comment on any of the current practices or policies of the current Milwaukee County sheriff,” Peterson said in a message to FOX6.