Why Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Is No Leader

Law enforcement chiefs and sheriffs must have the confidence of their officers. The community they are in charge of protecting deserves to have a leader they trust, as well. Just yesterday, the Broward’s Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association held a symbolic vote about Sheriff Scott Israel’s leadership.


As Tom noted earlier today, of the 628 officers in the union, 534 said they have no confidence in Israel. The high number of officers that voted against Israel is alarming. And it’s likely that those who voted in favor of Israel are command staff that worries about termination.

It is safe to say this was brewing before the incident in Parkland, Florida. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting is simply the event that exposed Israel for his poor leadership.

Israel is continuing to deflect issues away from himself. When asked about the vote of no confidence, he turned to money. Israel claimed the union president was attempting to extort a 6.5 percent pay increase for deputies.

In response to the vote, Israel claimed that Bell was trying to “use the Parkland tragedy as a bargaining tactic to extort a 6.5 percent raise.”

We all know this vote was about Israel’s competency as sheriff, not money. Seventeen innocent people were murdered, and he’s trying to make it about pay. Real law enforcement leaders don’t do that.

Actual law enforcement leaders take responsibility. They understand no man is perfect, including themselves. They are capable of humbling themselves and admitting shortcomings.


Israel’s diversions from the failure of Resource Officer Peterson, attacks on Dana Loesch, and bad-mouthing of the NRA are just a few public signs of what the deputies of Broward County have had to endure under his command.

The leader of a law enforcement agency needs several qualities; they need to be respected, honest, approachable, and a servant. Some of the best leaders serve those who work for them. They are selfless and look out for the well-being of their guys. It’s clear Israel has only been looking out for himself.

Anytime the Sheriff is faced with a fact or question he deflects it away from his failures. Israel may not like it that his policies ultimately failed 17 children, but that is something he must accept. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Parkland shooter’s home 39 times, but he was never arrested. I find it hard to believe authorities did not have enough probable cause to respond to one particular residence that many times with no crimes committed.


Sadly, school shootings happen in this country. It would be interesting to know how much active shooter training Israel required his deputies to complete on an annual basis. It is Israel’s responsibility to ensure his command administration has the right people in place to protect the community should someone go rouge.

The vote against Israel may be symbolic, but it exposes a significant problem in the Broward County Sheriff’s office. The next step is to take the results to the Florida governor, Rick Scott, and ask for him to have the sheriff step down.

Leading is more than attacking those you don’t agree with politically. Israel has repeatedly boasted about his “amazing leadership” in the wake of the Parkland shooting. But as Harold S. Geneen once told us, “leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.”

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