By: Sharon Aron Baron
After the chaotic handling of Parkland and the airport mass shootings, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, under Sheriff Scott Israel, lost its accreditation.
Instead of waiting two years, Sheriff Gregory Tony recently went before the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) and requested the agency be considered for reaccreditation next spring.
On October 2, the Commission voted unanimously to approve Sheriff Tony’s request to expedite the examination and accreditation cycle, allowing BSO to apply for its law enforcement reaccreditation during the March/April 2020 assessment period.
He expressed the importance of regaining BSO’s law enforcement accreditation:
“Accreditation provides objective evidence of an agency’s commitment to excellence in leadership, resource management, service delivery, and adhering to a body of stringent standards, which represent the very best in law enforcement today,” said Sheriff Tony.
During the meeting, he assured the commissioners of BSO’s commitment to rectifying deficiencies and performing at the highest level of public safety.
Some of BSO’s successes since the agency’s last review by CFA accessors:
- Increased school resource deputy (SRD) annual training from one week to two weeks
- Put operational plans in effect to increase school safety and traffic safety around schools in all BSO districts
- Purchased stop-the-bleed kits for Broward County Public Schools to give trauma victims an increased chance of surviving an uncontrolled bleeding injury
- Developed a tactical alert and dispatch policy that all deputies will be trained on to prevent self-deployment and self-assignment during extraordinary emergency situations
- Placed greater emphasis on incident/unified command protocols during training, in everyday operations and in conjunction with BSO’s Regional Communications
- Secured the purchase of patrol rifles to be issued to law enforcement deputies to enhance their ability to respond to and engage an active threat to the community
- Opened a 2,600 square foot Real Time Crime Center that has access to live video feeds, monitoring nearly 10,000 cameras in more than 260 public schools and administrative buildings
- Overhauled the Training Division and increased staffing levels
- Partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to have all 25 of BSO’s Training Division instructors nationally certified as active-shooter threat instructors
Additionally, plans are in the works to build a $34 million, approximately 88,000 square foot state-of-the-art regional training center to service BSO’s more than 5,400 employees, countless volunteers, vendors, school guardians, and other public safety agencies.