Sheriff Scott Israel is not having a good 2018. First, Parkland happened on his watch. While his troubles weren’t crap to many people’s in that incident, it still wasn’t a good day.
Since then, he tried to blame the guns only to see it backfire in his face when stories surfaced about the myriad of ways his department failed to prevent the attack despite the numerous opportunities they had to do something, anything, that might have changed the course of history. Time and again, he’s found himself at the center of a firestorm.
Now, deputies in his office added far more insult to injury when they gave the sheriff a vote of “no confidence.”
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has faced a firestorm of criticism in the wake of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students and teachers dead, and now he’s been officially rebuked by his own deputies. The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association announced last week they were calling for a “no-confidence” vote in Israel and today brought the results: an overwhelming 534 votes out of 628 against him.
“Deputies and sergeants cast their ballots to say ‘Sheriff, we no longer have confidence in your leadership’,” said union BSO Deputies Association President Jeff Bell, reported CBS Miami.
“The time now is for the Sheriff to listen to his membership and listen to the residents of Broward County,” continued Bell. “We ask you to start changing your policies that are absolutely failing, we ask you to change your leadership to something that somewhat resembling amazing,” presumably taking a swipe at Israel’s past comments to the media that he had exhibited “amazing leadership” as sheriff.
As is Israel’s usual MO, he immediately tried to deflect. You see, just as before, it’s not his fault. Responsibility falls on others. Israel isn’t a bad leader who completely botched the response to Parkland. Oh, no. It’s all about a handful of greedy deputies.
Now, remember that Sheriff Israel claimed he was giving “amazing leadership” to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. This gives me an opportunity to speak on leadership, which I know all of you really, really wanted to hear. Okay, maybe not, but here it goes anyway.
A real leader doesn’t need to talk about his “amazing leadership.” His people will. He creates an environment where the people are proud to be part of it. They’ll tell everyone for you.
Instead, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office is a mess. They fell down on the job over and over and over. Now, deputies are calling for votes of no confidence and getting them. And how does Israel handle it? He pretends it’s a fraudulent vote (“purportedly voted”), and argues it’s really all about a pay raise.
Note, however, that BSO Deputies Association President Jeff Bell never mentioned pay. He specifically called on Israel to modify policies. All Israel is doing, in my opinion, is validating the deputies’ concerns. He’s telling the world they’re right.
The union will be trying to get Governor Scott to temporarily remove Israel. Permanently removing him, however, requires the Florida Senate, but considering how disgusted people are with Israel’s management, that’s not an impossibility.