Thursday, August 9, 2018

Walberg Claims He Was a Police Officer

An Open Investigation
by 
Steven Meyer
Michigan, District 7

Link To Formatted, Printable PDF of this Report:

An October 5, 2017 CBS News article mentioned that U.S. Congress Member Tim Walberg served on a police force in grad school. I was blindsided by that item because I had been doing a lot of research on Walberg’s college record, and had never read anything about him serving on a police force. I sent a message to the author of that article seeking more information, and never heard back.

Then I called Walberg’s Jackson Office and spoke with his staffer Leeann Yamakawa on October 10th. In a prior call, Leeann had told me that she has known Walberg for years. So I figured Leeann would know some information to clarify what the article said. She was not familiar with any experience like the article described, and could not confirm or dispel what the article had said.

I reviewed dozens of official biographical sketches of Waberg from over his entire political career. Work experience on a police force work was never mentioned in any written profiles for Walberg. I figured that kind of experience would be highly beneficial for a politician to highlight up front. I hadn’t found anything like it in print.

Then I found three videos from 2010 of Walberg making the claim first hand during campaign events. Then at a Coffee Hour in April 2018, Walberg went into a little more detail. A few days later I had the chance to personally ask Walberg more about it. Walberg told me that he was a public police officer for a municipality on the west side of Chicago. He refused to tell me which municipality it was though.

Terms / Titles Walberg uses to Describe His Police Work (With # of Claims):
·       Security Police Worker: 1
·       Law Enforcement: 3
·       Police Force: 2
·       Police Officer: 1

            While I find Walberg’s claims highly dubious, I have not been able to corroborate or dispel any of them. I would like to resolve the question before the next election. I have been working at it, and have some leads, but I worry about being able to answer it in time. I would like to have more eyes on it, and hopefully some professional reporters will look into it. So I lay this out now as an open question: What are the facts behind Walberg’s following claims?

Thursday, July 8, 2010
Republican Primary Debate
Hosted by 9-12 Group
Lenawee County
Walberg: “Well Marvin, I appreciate the life experience that you have, I wouldn’t diminish that at all. I have 20 years of life experience in the private sector myself, leading churches as a minister, division manager for a higher education institution, leading as the president of a private operating foundation leading in education impact and community impact issues, with private money, not government money. I lived in my office in Washington on a sleeping bag air mattress so I always remembered that my home was back in the 7thdistrict, and not in Washington. I think there is a value in having a record in a multitude of areas, whether as a steel worker, which I was, whether as a security police worker, which I was, whether as an administrator, whether as a pastor, whether as the president of a foundation, or whether as a legislator, because honorable service which Jefferson, Adams, Washington, and others would say is honorable, as long as you don’t forget who you are, who sent you, and who you serve.”

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Campaign Meet and Greet
Charlotte, MI
Walberg: “I tell people when they say, ‘how in the world do you stand politics after you got out of the pastor?’, I say, have you ever been to a church board meeting, or a congregational committee? Politics are nothing. I can’t say that really, I had two great churches, two great churches, but spent time there. I spent time as administrator in higher education – private higher education. I spent time in law enforcement, as a US Steel worker, a number of things, over the course of those 20 years. But more importantly I’ve lived in this district. I know the people in this district. I’ve been Boy Scout leader, I’ve been in Kiwanis with them. I’ve made stories that farmers tell about my farming capabilities, and what I can do with implements in the field, and yet this is my home.”

Thursday, July 15, 2010
Campaign Meet and Greet
Jackson, MI
Walberg: “So it’s been a year that we’ve been running for this, and with a proven record, 16 years in the state house, two years in congress, separated by eight years back in the private sector. I was a pastor before going to the state legislature for ten years. I’ve worked in areas. I’ve been a union steel worker at US Steel, south ward, south side of Chicago. I’ve been in law enforcement while I was in graduate school. And we’ve done all sorts of things, but I look forward to going back and representing you.”

Thursday, October 5, 2017
CBS News Article
[Note: Walberg is not quoted directlymaking the claim in the article]

Excerpt from Article:

“But Republicans, generally known for espousing a more tough-on-crime policy approach than Democrats, face a particular challenge in heralding both due process and staunch support for law enforcement. The law enforcement lobby, said Walberg, who served on a police force in grad school, is strong.”

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Coffee Hour
Hillsdale, MI
Walberg: “I generally don’t show up at my work site worried about my life. I generally don’t worry about showing up and being confronted by somebody in a violent way; but a law enforcement officer, every single day he or she puts on a uniform has that potential. I say that because I spent a year in law enforcement when I was in graduate school and got a little taste of those seven hours, or seven and a half hours of sometimes complete and utter boredom, interrupted by an hour or thirty minutes of complete terror.”

“I remember my first stat call to a hospital room in fact for a domestic dispute. And I had heard of, and trained about domestic disputes and violence, what could take place there, and generally the opportunity of that being turned on you as the law enforcement officer showing up. I remember fearing, remember how I shook as I ran to that room. And uh, so I encourage people when you hear that one instance, that may or may not be – at least it’s alleged that there is a wrongful action by a law enforcement officer, pray for the thousands upon thousands of law enforcement officers who are going by the books every day.”

Saturday, April 7, 2018
Coffee Hour
Palmyra Township, MI
[As the coffee hour wrapped up, Walberg looked over to his staff to see how they were doing on time.]

Walberg: “We only have to get to Monroe.”

Steven: “You haven’t asked any of my questions. Could you ask one of my questions?” 

Constituent in the back: “One more!”

Steven: “Ask one of my –“

Walberg: “Ask one of Steve’s.”

Steven: “Ask the one about the police force. Or, can I ask it?”

Walberg: “Sure.”

Steven: “On Wednesday you said that you worked for a year in the police force while you were in grad school. [Walberg nods affirmatively]. So what was that, a private, or a public-?

Walberg: “Public.”

Steven: “What was your title-?

Walberg: “It was a municipal police force. I was a police officer. That’s all I was. I worked while I was in graduate school for that year. On the west side of Chicago.”
Steven: “How’d you receive your training there?”

Walberg: “I was trained there by the force itself. I was assigned to a large county hospital, and I was trained by the police force themselves.”

Steven: “Was that the Wheaton-“

Walberg: “What do you care?! What big deal?!”

Steven: “Was that for the Wheaton municipality?”

Walberg: “No. It wasn’t for Wheaton. I went to 
Wheaton Graduate School.”

Steven: “Where could I look that up?”

Walberg: “You can look it up anywhere you want.”

Steven: “So what municipality was it though?”

Walberg: “Look it up anywhere you want.”

Steven: “Could you tell me?”

Walberg: “No. You can look it up anywhere you want.”

Steven: “What municipality was it?”

Walberg: “Next question. This guy, [Walberg gestures his hand toward Steventhis guy is looking for stuff, just niggle stuff.” 

[End of exchange]

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