The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association has put up a new Billboard calling on Florida Governor Rick Scott to fire Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. From Local 10 News:
The second billboard, which reads: “Governor Scott: Before it happens again, remove Sheriff Israel,” was put up Monday off Interstate 95, just north of Sunrise Boulevard on the west side of the road.
According to union President Jeff Bell, morale at the agency has been decimated and the agency has been in a “holding pattern” with no sense of direction since the mass shooting that killed 17 people and injured 17 others.
Bell said deputies are increasingly applying to other agencies, which is furthering the already critical shortage of deputies in Broward County.
Here’s what the new billboard looks like. The “it” is obviously a reference to the Parkland school shooting:
Last month the union put up another billboard (pictured above) which reads “Governor Scott: There is no confidence in Sheriff Israel.” Union president Jeff Bell told CNN at the time, “The union is keeping its promise to make our voice heard outside Broward County.” He added, “Hopefully the governor will now see how serious we are that change in leadership is needed for the agency and the safety of the community.” The first billboard was a reference to a no-confidence vote taken by the union in April which went overwhelmingly against Sheriff Israel.
Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott is said to be waiting on the conclusions of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement which he ordered after the shooting. It’s unclear what the report will conclude about the response of Broward deputies to the attack. However, Broward Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jan Jordan, who was in charge of the response from Broward was moved out of her job last week. From Local 10 News:
Broward Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jan Jordan will be replaced at the request of City Manager Bob Payton, according to a news release from the city…
Several sources close to the BSO told Local 10 News investigative reporter Bob Norman that Jordan, a former Fort Lauderdale police officer who was hired by Israel after his election, questioned whether deputies had set up a perimeter, something that law enforcement experts have said wasn’t appropriate when policy calls for deputies to neutralize the threat.
Jordan has refused to answer questions about the shooting.
“I think that this is probably the first of many changes that we’re going to see as far as public safety in this area,” Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, who represents Parkland, said. “When you have what you had on Feb. 14, there’s got to be accountability.”
Former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson, who stood outside during the shooting, has already resigned. Sheriff Israel bragged about his “amazing leadership” on television shortly after the shooting but, as the no-confidence vote indicates, many of the deputies that work for him don’t feel the same way. Sheriff Israel claimed in response to the no-confidence vote that the union was bashing him because he had refused to give them a raise.