By: Sharon Aron Baron
The national organization, Stand with Parkland, released a statement on Thursday endorsing Gregory Tony for Broward County Sheriff.
Created in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting, by many of the family members of the deceased, Stand with Parkland is committed to advocating for practical public safety reforms focused on the safety of children.
Their full statement is here:
Stand with Parkland is pleased to announce our endorsement of Gregory Tony for Broward County Sheriff. A proven leader and reformer Sheriff Tony immediately enacted positive changes to protect all Broward citizens when he took command in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School massacre. Sheriff Tony has brought a new era to the Broward County Sheriff Office (BSO), while his main challenger disgraced himself in office.
Accountability, not politics, led to the change in BSO leadership when the MSD Public Safety Commission report was released in January of 2019. It was because of Mr. Israel’s neglectful and incompetent leadership that the BSO failed the community and our families when we needed them most. Yet this man has the audacity to ask voters for a second chance. Let’s be clear: The 14 children and 3 teachers killed at school that day don’t get a chance to come back to us.
Seventeen dead, seventeen wounded, thousands of students and teachers traumatized because of systemic failures at MSD High School which included: Eight BSO responders failing to take any action as shots rang out, a chain of command failures at multiple levels, and the reprehensible inaction of Deputy Peterson. Given the magnitude of the incompetent response and systemic failures of his organization, Mr. Israel should have resigned from his post, and given the BSO a change of leadership to help the organization regain the public trust. Shockingly, he has never accepted responsibility for his failed leadership which jeopardized every citizen in Broward County.
Stand with Parkland’s endorsement is based on Sheriff Gregory Tony’s record of success as much as his predecessor’s ineptness. With Sheriff Tony’s leadership, the Sheriff’s Office has worked to regain the trust of the community it serves through his initiatives such as Park, Walk, and Talk which improves community policing, allowing deputies to interact with the those they protect. Increased wages and promotions from within BSO have improved the lives of deputies and their families.
Gregory Tony’s focus on improved and widespread training throughout the department ensures that deputies are educated and prepared to properly handle situations to protect all Broward’s citizens. Additionally, Sheriff Tony changed BSO policies, now personnel is required to engage in critical situations where seconds save lives. Broward’s citizens demand accountability and Sheriff Tony agrees. He has conducted investigations and disciplined those who made poor decisions, and when required, the sheriff has even overridden the professional standards committee by firing some deputies for their egregious actions.
Sheriff Gregory Tony has gained our endorsement because he has used his position to build trust between the BSO and all communities. He has built bridges to help unify us all by investing in the future, by funding community organizations to focus on youth development, and by diversifying his command staff to better reflect the citizenry of Broward County. Gregory Tony is the tough, resilient, and innovative sheriff we need in these turbulent times. Vote to protect your family.
Stand with Parkland urges you to vote Gregory Tony for Sheriff
Members of Stand with Parkland include Tony Montalto, President; Phil Schentrup, Secretary; and Tom Hoyer, Treasurer.
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