Broward Sheriff Now Requires Deputies To Intervene When Kids Are Being Murdered

Broward sheriff's deputies will have a new policy beginning in January.

Pembroke Park, FL – The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) has officially altered its policy to require deputies to take action to stop attackers and protect potential victims during active shooter incidents.

Seventeen students and faculty were fatally shot, and another 17 were wounded, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, when a former student went on a killing spree on the high school’s campus.

Local law enforcement’s handling of the shooting has been widely criticized after the incompetent response by BSO.

The only armed person on the campus at the time of the shooting, BSO School Resource Officer Scot Peterson, retired shortly after the Valentine’s Day shootings, after it was revealed that he hid outside the building where the shooting was taking place rather than attempting to engage the gunman.

For the past several months, a state task force has been investigating the failure of local law enforcement to proactively engage the shooter and follow most-current active-shooter protocols.

Amid the multitude of failures identified by the state’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission was the department’s policy at the time of the shooting, which said that deputies “may” attempt to enter the scene save people’s lives and to stop the attacker, the Miami Herald reported.

“I’ve been involved in writing policy probably 35 years, and we agree that Scot Peterson’s response was egregious, outrageous, unacceptable,” commission member Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told the Miami Herald. “But words matter, and according to [the] policy, he didn’t have to go in.”

In November, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel told the commission that he previously altered the policy to include the word “may” in order to shield deputies from being forced to enter scenes that would undoubtedly result in their deaths.

“The use of the word ‘may’ in the BSO policy is ambiguous and does not unequivocally convey the expectation that deputies are expected to immediately enter an active assailant scene where gunfire is active and neutralize the threat,” the commission wrote in a draft report of its conclusions regarding law enforcement’s response to the school massacre.

According to a Dec. 21 memo written by BCO Colonel James Polan, effective January 4, 2019, the word “may” will be replaced with the word “shall” in the department’s policy, the Miami Herald reported.

“[Deputies responding to an active shooter situation] shall attempt to protect the life of innocent persons through immediate tactical intervention to eliminate the threat,” the updated policy is expected to read.

The new policy also recognizes that immediate engagement may not be appropriate in all situations.

“While deputies are expected to tactically intervene, there may be very limited extenuating circumstances when entry by a solo deputy must be delayed until the situation changes, or additional deputies or resources are present,” the update policy read.

Once on scene, deputies will be expected to “stop the assailant(s). Rescue the victims. Provide medical assistance. Arrest suspects and preserve the crime scene,” according to Col. Polan’s memo.

While the changes may appear simple, the eradicating the ambiguity created by the prior wording has “significantly improved” the policy, said commission member Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter, Alaina, was murdered during the attack.

“Make no mistake, this is a 180-degree change in policy for BSO,” Petty told the Miami Herald. “It is clear and concise with few exceptions, so effective training can be developed to address future active assailants.”

“This is the policy that should have been in place long before Feb. 14, 2018,” he added.

Comments (40)
No. 1-25
NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

17 years as a SWAT officer and a team leader/asst commander and 40 plus years of training and writing policy and procedures for both law enforcement and military around the world teaches me that “tactical intervention” by lack of definition translates into management CYA and officers screwed!

RIDGERUNNER
RIDGERUNNER

I find it amazing that Scott Israel still has a job. But then again he is a Hillary Clinton lapdog so I am guessing strings were pulled for him.

TCSO7801
TCSO7801

"Officers forced to enter scenes that could result in their death" per Sheriff Israel. The day you raise your right hand and take the oath you are entering into that scenario. Sheriff wasn't accepting his responsibility, IMO, when he initially changed policy to "may". Every supervisor in the LEO field and Fire Department sends their people into scenes every day where they can be killed or injured. The Captain's actions, or the lack thereof, make you question how she got rank and managed to keep it. Testing, continuing education.....

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

The Coward of Broward should have been removed from office long ago......this is called CYA and lesson #1 in how to screw over the officers under him !

RPG156
RPG156

I expect that no policy to save lives will ever overcome hiring practices that choose weak and narcissistic people. There are those that run towards the sound of gunfire and those that find an excuse not to. Cowards need not apply.