- Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images
- The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation voted last week to strip the Broward County Sheriff’s Office of its law enforcement accreditation last week, citing mishandling of last year’s Parkland shooting and the 2017 shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
- While the accreditation process is technically voluntary, departments with accreditation can benefit from both a bolstered level of legitimacy as well as useful standardized guidelines on best law enforcement practices.
- Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony described the loss of the accreditation as “disheartening,” in a statement provided to INSIDER.
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Florida’s Broward County Sheriff’s Office lost its law enforcement accreditation last week, due to their poor handling of last year’s Parkland shooting and the 2017 shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
In a 13-0 vote, the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation unanimously voted to strip the office’s accreditation, citing the department’s inept handling of two shootings that, in total, left 22 people dead. The state panel consists of sheriffs, police officers, and other top Florida officials.
While the accreditation process is technically voluntary, departments with accreditation can benefit from both a bolstered level of legitimacy as well as useful standardized guidelines on best law enforcement practices. As the Miami Herald noted, accreditation also lowers insurance rates and can help department’s defend themselves against lawsuits, since officers follows procedures green lighted by external experts.
The revoking of the accreditation is just the latest in a string of troubling setbacks that has plagued the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the largest in the state, in the wake of last year’s shooting.
Last week, two Broward County deputies were fired due to alleged neglect of duty during the Parkland shooting, bringing the total number of deputies fired because of inaction up to four. School resource officer Scot Peterson was criminally charged with child neglect, culpable negligence, and perjury in early June for failing to confront the Parkland gunman.
- Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Earlier this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis also removed former Sheriff Scott Israel from his post through an executive order because he “egregiously failed in his duties,” and “failed to maintain a culture of vigilance and thoroughness amongst his deputies in protecting the peace in Broward County, Florida.”
Despite that, Israel filed paperwork on Monday to run again for sheriff in 2020, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Following Israel’s removal, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony was appointed to the position in January.
“It is disheartening for the hardworking members of the Broward Sheriff’s Office to lose our accreditation because of the previous administration’s mishandling of two devastating events in our community,” Tony said in a statement provided to INSIDER. “Since recently taking command, I have worked on improving BSO and repairing the effects of bad leadership and negligence by focusing on training and community relations. I will continue working hard to ensure that all Broward residents feel safe and that our agency’s reputation and honor are restored.”
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