Broward County Sheriff's Office

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Broward County Sheriff's Office
Logo of the Broward County Sheriff's Office
Agency overview
Formed 1915[1]
Employees 5,800[2]
Annual budget $730 million[2]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Florida, U.S.
Legal jurisdiction Unincorporated areas of Broward County, Florida and 13 local municipalities through contract services.[1]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 2601 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Agency executive Scott Israel, Sheriff
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office, commonly known by the acronym BSO, is a public safety organization responsible for law enforcement and fire rescue duties within Broward County, Florida. The head of the organization is Sheriff Scott Israel.[3] BSO is one of the largest fully accredited Sheriff's offices in the United States.[4]


Scott Israel, Sheriff
Police vehicle
Harbor patrol near Port Everglades
Motorcycle patrol in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

The Sheriff's Office is composed of 5,800 employees,[5] including approximately 2,800 certified deputies and approximately 600 firefighters.[3] The BSO budget is approximately $700 million annually. BSO will celebrate its 100-year centennial in 2015.

A detailed history of the 15 former Sheriffs of Broward County can be found on the BSO website.

Former North Bay Village Police Chief Scott Israel (Democrat) was elected as Sheriff by a 53%-47% vote in 2012,[6] defeating incumbent Sheriff Al Lamberti (Republican). On January 8, 2013, Sheriff Scott Israel – a 30-year veteran South Florida police officer – was sworn into office as the 16th Sheriff of Broward County. He is also the first Jewish person to serve as Sheriff in Florida history. Since taking office, Sheriff Israel has vowed to address the serious issues of recidivism, youth diversion programs, gun violence, and homelessness in our community. He also is working to positively change the culture within BSO and restore morale among the BSO’s rank and file employees in order to enhance public safety in Broward County.[7]

Law Enforcement[edit]

Currently BSO provides law enforcement services to all of the county's unincorporated areas, and the following municipalities and government facilities under contract:

BSO law enforcement efforts use many specially trained deputies and units designed to provide maximum response efficiency in a variety of customary and unusual situations. Specialized BSO units include:[8]

  • Aviation Unit
  • Bicycle Patrol
  • Bomb Squad
  • Canine Unit
  • Child Protective Investigations Section (CPIS)
  • Civil Division
  • Contractor Licensing and Fraud Unit
  • Crime Scene
  • Crime Lab
  • Crime Stoppers Unit
  • Criminal Investigations Division (including Violent Crimes Section and Major Crimes Section)
  • Dive Team
  • DUI Unit
  • Economic Crime Unit
  • Evidence Unit
  • Marine Unit
  • Metro Broward Drug Task Force
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • Public Corruption Unit
  • Special Investigations Division
  • SWAT Team
  • Victim Services Unit

Rank Structure[edit]

Rank structure[edit]

Title Insignia
4 Gold Stars.svg
3 Gold Stars.svg
3 Gold Stars.svg
Lieutenant Colonel
2 Gold Stars.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain insignia gold.svg
US-O1 insignia.svg

Aviation Unit/Vehicle Fleet[edit]


The Broward County Sheriffs Office currently operates 3 American Eurocopters for search & rescue (SAR), criminal apprehensions, missing persons, aerial surveillance, & deputy funeral service flyovers.


Communications Division[edit]

The Communications Division of Broward Sheriff's Office is responsible for 911 emergency call-taking, dispatch, and teletype services for all of Broward County. BSO operates Broward County's consolidated regional E-911 communications system,[9] which launched on October 1, 2013. BSO employs over 600 emergency operators and dispatchers in the consolidated regional E-911 communications system, who work from three regional PSAP call centers (Coconut Creek, Sunrise, and Pembroke Pines).

Detention & Community Control[edit]

A DUI suspect in BCSO custody, April 2011.

The Broward Sheriff's Office operates the 12th largest local jail system in the United States (5,300 beds), and the second largest to have earned national accreditation from both the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections (CAC) and American Correctional Association (ACA). The Department of Detention and Community Programs oversees all jail facility operations and community-based offender programs within Broward County.[10]

The BSO jail system consists of four detention facilities (Main Jail, Joseph Conte Detention Facility, Paul Rein Detention Facility, and North Broward Bureau Detention Facility) that are responsible for holding persons awaiting trial, or serving sentences of less than one year. In addition to running the detention facilities, the Department of Community Control is responsible for running the county's probation & reintegration services for criminal offenders. The Department of Community Control also runs the county's in-custody health care, and mental health care programs.[10]

Annually, approximately 63,220 inmates crossing every ethnic, age and socioeconomic group are booked into BSO's jail for crimes ranging from civil infractions to murder. The average daily population at all jail facilities, including work release inmates, exceeds 4,600 and is expected to rise each year. The department's Transportation Bureau moves nearly 180,000 inmates annually between facilities, to and from court appointments, and to and from state prison. Many inmates arrive with drug or alcohol addictions, mental health problems, or both, requiring BSO to administer a range of medical and rehabilitative programs.[10]

Special units like the Emergency Response Team and Security Threat Group-assist detention facility staff in maintaining a secure and productive environment for inmates and facility personnel.[10]

BSO puts non-violent criminals to work in its inmate work program, which saves Broward County taxpayers more than $1.2 million annually in labor costs related to neighborhood and community-wide improvement projects.[10]

Fire-Rescue & Emergency Services[edit]


In 1982 Broward County Emergency Medical Services merged with Broward County Fire Protection Division, to form what in 1991 would become Broward County Fire Rescue which was a fire-rescue agency providing Fire & EMS services to Unincorporated Broward County. During the 1990s Port Everglades Public Safety and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport fire departments joined with Broward County Fire Rescue.

In October 2003, control of Broward County Fire Rescue was transferred to the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Ken Jenne from the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. The name of the organization was then changed to the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue & Emergency Services.

Prior to being taken over by BSO, Broward County Fire Rescue was being considered for elimination, since at the time the majority of their fire stations were serving unincorporated areas of Broward County. Today, BSO DFRE has become a largely contracted fire-service agency with 15 of their 21 fire stations being located in contracted municipalities.

Fire Prevention & Education[edit]

In addition to providing fire suppression & EMS services, the Fire Marshal's Office provides fire inspection services to all areas served by the department. The Fire Marshal's office conducts origin & cause investigations of all fires, and routinely relies on the assistance of the Florida State Fire Marshal's Office, and BSO Department of Law Enforcement for assistance with incendiary fires and arson cases. The Fire Marshal's Office also conducts public education for the county as well operating the countywide juvenile firesetters program.


BSO operates five battalions in 22 different locations throughout the county and includes 17 engines, 7 aerials, 1 Industrial fire truck, 3 aircraft fire-rescue crash trucks, 3 MEDEVAC helicopters, 23 ALS transport units and a cross-staffed brush truck, chemical fire suppression truck and foam tanker.[11]

With more than 700 professional and highly trained operations, support and administrative personnel, the department provides fire suppression, fire protection, emergency medical services and educational programs for most unincorporated areas of Broward County and to the municipalities of Weston, Pembroke Park, Cooper City, Lauderdale Lakes, Dania Beach and Deerfield Beach through contract agreements. Additionally, the department serves Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and Port Everglades.

Fire Rescue also administers the Hazardous Materials, Air Rescue, Everglades Rescue and the Technical Rescue teams, each addressing unique and frequently complex and dangerous public safety situations. These teams operate countywide.

22 stations for fire suppression and Advanced Life Support medical rescue operate in various locations in the county, fifteen as engine companies and five as aerial companies. There is also an Air Rescue station located at the Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport. The BSO stations follow the Broward County Uniform Station Numbering system.

Station Number Area Served Engine Ladder Rescue Other Specialty / Notes
1 Dania Beach Quint 1 Rescue 1
4 Deerfield Beach Engine 4 Rescue 4 Fleet 4
6 Port Everglades Engine 6, Engine 206 Rescue 6 Chemical 6, Battalion 6, Attack 6(cross staffed), Foam 6(cross staffed) Seaport
10 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Engine 10, Rescue 10 Truck 210, Truck 910, Truck 610(spare, not staffed), Truck 710, Battalion 10, Marine 10(cross staffed), Utility 10(cross staffed) ARFF
14 Unincorporated Central Broward Engine 14 Rescue 14
17 Dania Beach Quint 17, Quint 93 Rescue 17, Rescue 93 Haz-Mat 17, Battalion 32, Battalion 17 Support 23 (MCI vehicle, cross staffed), Support 223(Decontamination vehicle, cross staffed), Support 323 (Rad. Survey vehicle, cross staffed) Countywide Hazardous Materials Team & Logistics Center
23 Unincorporated Fort Lauderdale (Broadview Park) Engine 23
27 Pembroke Park / West Park Engine 27 Rescue 27, Rescue 227
28 Cooper City Engine 28 Quint 28 Rescue 28, Rescue 228
32 Airport/Seaport Regional (Stationed in Fort Lauderdale, FL) Platform 32 Rescue 32 Squad 32, TRT 32 (cross staffed), Support 32 (spare) Technical Rescue Team .
37 Lauderdale Lakes Engine 37 Rescue 37, Rescue 237 Battalion 37
51 Deerfield Beach Rescue 51
55 Weston Engine 55 Rescue 55 Battalion 55, Brush 55(cross staffed)
66 Deerfield Beach Engine 66 Rescue 66 Battalion 66
67 Weston Engine 67 Rescue 67, Rescue 21 Brush 67(cross staffed)
75 Deerfield Beach Engine 75 Rescue 75
81 Weston Engine 81 Platform 81 Rescue 81
85 Countywide (Stationed at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport) Air Rescue 85 Air Rescue
102 Deerfield Beach, Florida Engine 102 Platform 102 Rescue 102 Battalion 102
106 I-75/Alligator Alley & the Florida Everglades Engine 106 Rescue 106 Brush 106(cross staffed), Marine 106 (cross staffed), Airboat 106 (cross staffed)
111 Deerfield Beach Rescue 111

Senior Command Staff[edit]

Sheriff Israel's highest-level Senior Command consists of the following individuals:[12]

  • Colonel Steve Kinsey, Undersheriff
  • Colonel Jack Dale, Department of Professional Standards
  • Colonel Gary Palmer, Department of Detention
  • Colonel Jim Polan, Department of Law Enforcement
  • Colonel Tom Harrington, Department of Administration
  • Colonel Frank Adderley, Department of Community Services
  • Exec. Dir. Ron Gunzburger, General Counsel
  • Fire Chief Joseph R. Fernandez
  • Exec. Dir. Robert R. Pusins, Department of Regional Communications
  • Exec. Dir. David Scharf, Department of Community Programs
  • Lisa Castillo, Chief of Staff

Domestic Violence Prevention[edit]

Broward County Sheriff's Office works in partnership with Women in Distress (WID) to prevent domestic violence.[13] WID is a nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center in Broward County. Its mission is to provide victims of domestic violence with safe shelter, crisis intervention and resources, and to educate the community in order to Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE) through intervention, education and advocacy.[14]

Broward Sheriff Explorer Program[edit]

The Law Enforcement Explorers Program at the Broward Sheriff's Office is a program that works with teens and young adults (14–21 years of age) by allowing them to interact with law enforcement and other community advisors in a serious, regimented atmosphere where the students can demonstrate their personal initiative. The program offers young adults the opportunity to learn and experience lawful citizenship as they participate side-by-side with certified BSO deputies in ongoing training and community service projects. To qualify for membership, candidates must be at least 14 years of age (and under 21), must achieve and maintain satisfactory school grades and must make a conscientious effort to stay out of trouble. Candidates under 18 years of age must have the approval and cooperation of a parent or guardian.


The Broward County Sheriff's Office was featured prominently in the first season of COPS in 1989.[15] Other reality TV shows which featured BSO included Police Women of Broward County (2009–11) and Unleashed: K9 Broward County (2011).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The History of the Broward Sheriff's Office". Broward Sheriff's Office. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Office Of The Sheriff". Broward Sheriff's Office. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Broward Sheriff's Office - About the Broward Sheriff's Office". Broward County Sheriff's Office. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  4. ^ "The History of the Broward Sheriff's Office". Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Administrative Offices". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  6. ^ Archived from the original on 2012-12-22.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "The History of the Broward Sheriff's Office". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  8. ^ "Specialized Units". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  9. ^ "Regional 911". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Department of Detention". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  11. ^ "Department of Fire Rescue". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  12. ^ "Office Of The Sheriff". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  14. ^ "Women In Distress | Broward County, providing victims of domestic violence with safe shelter, crisis intervention, resources and education for the community". Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  15. ^ (1989-03-11). "Cops - Season 1". Retrieved 2013-07-28. 

External links[edit]