A Message from Sheriff Gregory Tony:
No one event had a more profound impact on the Broward Sheriff’s Office than the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School on February 14, 2018.
The loss of 17 innocent lives at the Parkland school is the reason I arrived at BSO, with the vow that we would do everything in our power to ensure that what occurred that day would never happen again. Today, we are better trained and more prepared, leveraging technology, utilizing resources, and consistently readying our first responders to protect our schools.
In 2019, I created the Threat Management Unit (TMU) and Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) to proactively investigate potential threats to our schools and the community. Since then, the TMU has investigated approximately 4,230 potentially violent incidents, resulting in more than 300 arrests.
One of those arrests was a teenager who threatened to carry out a mass shooting at MSD in 2021. With access to nearly 18,000 school cameras across Broward County, the RTCC provides live intelligence during investigations and helps direct first responders in real-time during an incident. The RTCC is expanding significantly, increasing its space and staffing and enhancing our investigative capabilities.
As an expert in active shooter training and response, I saw improving the training standards for all our first responders as an immediate priority. Today, we train to respond to any incident, regardless of size or scale. All our first responders, including our school resource officers, participate in annual active assailant training with our Tactical Training Unit.
The 13-person unit, which includes our most skilled and tactically trained deputies, provides the highest level of proficiency training to sworn personnel throughout the organization.
Our Incident Command System training ensures all personnel, regardless of rank or role, understand their responsibilities and the overall structure of critical incident response and emergency management principles, which are crucial to effectively handling critical incidents.
BSO command staff participate in key operational scenarios such as establishing command posts, implementing staging areas, managing crisis communications, coordinating resources, and integrating multi-agency responses under a unified command. These extensive trainings prepare us to respond to and effectively manage emergencies. BSO is committed to continuously incorporating real-life scenarios into our training regimen to maintain operational readiness.
To enhance operational efficiency and ensure every incident is handled as expeditiously as possible, we unified our Training Division and Special Operations Bureau to form our Department of Preparedness and Response. A highlight of this new department is the Threat Intervention Tactics Analytics Network (TITAN). This intelligence-led policing unit works to stop terrorist acts or threats of violence.
A feature of TITAN is our organization’s first full-time SWAT team, which provides high visibility and security to various critical infrastructure in the county, such as our airport and seaport. The team is also ready for immediate deployment in the event of a mass casualty incident.
The pinnacle of our commitment to protect our schools and our entire community will be our state-of-the-art Research, Development, and Training Center (RDTC), which will open later this year.
The RDTC will house all our training efforts under one roof, allowing for greater preparedness, multi-departmental and jurisdictional training, and streamlined resources.
A two-story memorial will grace the walls of the RDTC’s main entrance. Etched into it will be the 17 names of the lives lost during the MSD shooting. The building is dedicated to these victims and serves as a continual reminder of our ultimate purpose: We train in their memory.
We prepare to prevent further tragedies. We will never forget them and why we made significant changes to our organization to protect our schools and children.
Sheriff Gregory Tony
Service Equals Reward
Certain Broward cities like Coconut Creek, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Plantation, Davie, Margate, Miramar, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, and Coral Springs maintain their police departments; however, BSO does provide communications and dispatch services to the following cities: Central Broward, Cooper City, Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lauderdale Lakes, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Parkland, West Park, Pompano Beach, Port Everglades, Tamarac, Weston, and unincorporated West Broward.