Get to know Earnell.
Earnell is a lifelong Milwaukeean who loves this community and cares deeply about its people. As Milwaukee County’s next Sheriff, he will continue his life’s work of building a stronger community and creating opportunities for our friends and family to live, work, and play in safety.
A proud graduate of Rufus King High School and Marquette University, Earnell grew up on the North Side of Milwaukee and lived for a time in the Hillside Terrace public housing development. As a boy, he learned the values of hard work, responsibility, and community involvement from his mother, a single parent who worked tirelessly to support her three children, and his grandmother, who raised Earnell and his brothers after their mother passed away.
A close brush with death as a young Milwaukee police officer shaped Earnell’s approach to public service. After responding with his partner to a citizen complaint, Earnell was shot in the face by an armed subject and gravely wounded, later receiving Milwaukee Police Department’s Heroism Award. Instead of retiring on duty disability, Earnell resolved to return to work, so that he could protect others from suffering similar harm.
Earnell retired from the Police Department as a captain in 2002, after serving as commander of the Third Police District and as the department’s spokesperson. He then joined Major League Baseball as a security supervisor in the commissioner’s office, later working as a vice president for security and facility management. Most recently, Earnell served as the Chief Liaison for Security and Investigations, responsible for fan safety and internal affairs within Minor League Baseball.
Earnell and his wife Linda live on Milwaukee’s East Side. They are active members of St. Matthew CME Church on 9th and Locust, which Earnell has attended since accompanying his grandmother there as a young man.