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)
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pbm4jc
pbm4jc

They have to have a policy to intervene and protect the kids in active shooting scenario? What a joke. Doesn't that come with the job?

Just fire Israel, scrap the entire Broward County Sheriff Dept, and rebuild it from a scratch. Let them learn from Texas Rangers.

JBo
JBo

It would be nice if you could mandate bravery in a policy. Unfortunately, that's not the way it works. It's like trying to mandate respect...that doesn't work either.

Most people do not run toward gunfire and that's understandable Most people aren't built that way. Cops, however, are supposed to be brave, rush to save lives and do SOMETHING, ANYTHING...except hide when the SHTF.

Most officers do run to danger and that's called bravery (which garners respect).

Fearless Foe
Fearless Foe

The ambiguous word "may" has no business being in the language of such documents. It is asking for trouble. However, this does not excuse the nonaction of the Coward of Broward.

Bobholly79
Bobholly79

Sad I can’t believe this guy is still Sheriff

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

He is nothing but a Glad-Handed Politician. He should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

Lt Retired OCPD
Lt Retired OCPD

Policy or not. This was a disgrace. True men and women who take the oath would not have stood by and done nothing. No excuse

RoxC
RoxC

Why does this corrupt sheriff still have his job?

TheEltee
TheEltee

i guess the phrase "to protect and serve" is out of vogue!

gfc1963
gfc1963

Isn't that a 'given' when you become a cop?? Go towards the threat and save the innocent? Not stand outside twiddling your thumbs deciding what to do.

DR226
DR226

How did Israel ever become Sheriff? He obviously has no leadership skills and no confidence in his deputies, stating that if they enter an active shooter scene the outcome would UNDOUTEDLY result in their deathes. Has this fool written any policy or implimented any training for insidents like this before it happened, especially with all the mass shootings in Fla.

ffangel4u
ffangel4u

When they tried to take this "thug" out with a vote of No Confidence, he now thinks it's okay to take out someone who murders kids? WTH! Some idiots are really out to get those who are in law enforcement to protect and serve!!!

186
186

Not a fan of Sheriff's It's hold over from when we were British subjects. Anyone can run for the office, there are no requirements for the office, get elected and presto, Your the top Law enforcement officer in that county. I knew one that ran a steam roller before getting elected. They get a "I am God Complex" and expect everybody to kiss their gluteus maximus. Sorry I'm not kissing anything to keep my job. Disclaimer This comment is no way directed at the rank and file. that do a tough job 24/7

Lamont Cranston
Lamont Cranston

That's a no brainer; that's part of the job description for a police department.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Golly, let's give the police officers permission to be police officers! Wouldn't that be something?

LEO030
LEO030

I remember having a conversation with my shift about our response to a school shooting shortly after Columbine. We didn't need any policy to tell us what the appropriate course of action would be.

DocRyder
DocRyder

The man is clearly insane so I would have certainly been in fear of my life. Pew, pew, pew...

Katarina
Katarina

@JBo SHOULD garner respect. Have you seen how citizens treat (and are allowed to treat) officers?

61mouse
61mouse

Just when kids are being murdered ??

Jimhilton911
Jimhilton911

“AMAZING LEADERSHIP” MY EYE!!!

Instead of taking full responsiblity for the utterly horrific massacre of school children and the profound failure of his deputies to stop it, these are the words that Sheriff Isreal defiantly used to desribe himself to grieving parents!!!

It is painful to imagine how that cowardly BSO school deputy or that worthless Sheriff can look actually look at themselves in the mirror every morning knowing full well they stood around, hands in pockets, while all those kids were getting butchered!!

They suck beyond words -although adjectives like cowards, failures, and losers do come to mind.

AN EPIC FAILURE AND UNSPEAKABlE DISGRACE -both of them.

Don’t want to ever again hear their names or see their pathetic, sorry faces.

James P. Hilton, Former Broward County Paramedic

1sam80
1sam80

Welcome to the 21st century Broward SO. Time for the Sheriff to be replaced

No. 26-32
ACSO-Charles-One
ACSO-Charles-One

If that moron (Sheriff) was concerned about putting his deputies in harms way by stating "shall" then he shouldn't be sheriff and they shouldn't be deputies.

Chief B W
Chief B W

This clown is an embarrassment to all law enforcement. Ever since this massacre happened he has been doing nothing but try to cover his butt for his department's personnel failing to take action to circumvent this from happening despite numerous contacts with the murderer who had repeatedly demonstrated indications of potential violence prior to the killings and at the scene. His latest PR stunt is a sick joke. The fact is that there are occasions when, just like soldiers, officers must put themselves deliberately into situations that can and sometimes do result in their death or severe injury. That is an integral part of the job. I spent most of my law enforcement career in that county and I can tell you my former friends and associates in law enforcement feel the same contempt for him. This is what you get when you elect someone solely because they are a Liberal Democrat and the same kind of abject law enforcement administrative incompetence can be seen in multiple jurisdictions run by Democratic politicians.

Dmoe63
Dmoe63

This is the craziest thing I have ever read.

grandmotherbos
grandmotherbos

We have a great resource in our retired military men and women. Many are working part time and full time jobs during their retirement..that is who should be in the schools. They have all the training and usually more than qualified..and NUMBER ONE YOU WOULDNT HAVE TO HAVE PUT IT INTO WRITING ..THEY WOULD HAVE DONE A SCENE SIZE UP AND ENGAGED AND TAKEN HIM OUT...YOU DONT SEND AMATURES TO GUATD YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSETS..Children deserve the best..national guards and retired military...and. This sheriff and his chicken can go back to being crossing guards...Military only way to properly guard our children...

MMcGregor
MMcGregor

Sorry, but that is totally stupid - police officers should not need an order to do what they swore to do!! Protecting children should be automatic!!