Scott Israel

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Scott Israel
Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff's Office.jpg
16th Sheriff of Broward County
In office
January 8, 2013 – January 11, 2019
Preceded byAl Lamberti
Succeeded byGregory Tony
Personal details
Born1956/1957 (age 61–62)
New York
CitizenshipUnited States
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Susan Israel
ResidenceDavie, Florida

Scott Israel is an American law enforcement officer who served as the 16th Sheriff of Broward County, Florida until his suspension on January 11, 2019 by an executive order signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.[1][2] DeSantis appointed Gregory Tony to replace Israel.[3] Notably, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting occurred in his jurisdiction while he was Sheriff. He became best known to the United States public following the shooting for openly advocating in public forums and on national media, more stringent background checks, and condemning the perceived lack of adequate gun control measures in Florida, as well as in the United States.


Israel was born in New York and raised in The Bronx and Long Island and is the son of a homicide detective. He studied political science at SUNY Cortland.[4]

He became a patrol officer for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department in 1979.[5] In the 1980's he was investigated for 10 incidents by Fort Lauderdale Police Department Internal Affairs division. The incidents included 6 accusations of "excessive or unnecessary force", shooting at a drug suspect and for using profanity. Israel was cleared of all wrongdoing. [6] He later worked in narcotics and later served as a SWAT commander. From 2004 to 2008, he was the chief of police in North Bay Village. He left that position in 2008 to run for Sheriff, but lost the election.[5]

Broward County Sheriff[edit]

Israel was elected sheriff in 2012, running against incumbent Al Lamberti and reelected in 2016. He is the first Jewish-American sheriff in Florida’s history. He is known for being outspoken regarding gun violence and gun control, and opposes open carry legislation. In 2016, Israel began to implement a plan for deputies to have body cameras.[5] In 2017, his office was criticized for failing to take control in the aftermath of the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting. According to a report issued by the Sheriff's Office, the failure was caused both by leadership issues and problems with communication systems.[7] On January 11, 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially suspended Israel for his responses to the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting and Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting[edit]

In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Israel came under scrutiny for both for the actions of his deputies and his department's failure to act on warning signs about shooter Nikolas Cruz. On the day of the shooting, an armed sheriff's deputy was outside of the school but did not enter. Afterwards Israel criticized the deputy, saying that he should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer".[8] It was later discovered that there may have been at least two other deputies, that arrived later, who also did not enter the building.[9] Coral Springs police officers who arrived at the scene were surprised to find that the deputies still had not entered the building.[10] According to Israel, his agency had "been involved in 23 type calls involving the killer in some way, shape or form -- or his brother." However, through a Freedom of Information Act request CNN found that the sheriff's department had actually received 45 such calls about Cruz or his brother over the past decade.[11] Israel has rejected calls for his resignation, including one from State representative Bill Hager.[12]


Sheriff Israel has been criticized by his political opponents[13], accused of hiring his political supporters to work in "community outreach" jobs that consist mostly of going to meetings, touting the Sheriff's Department's success. Ten such workers were hired since 2013, for salaries totalling $634,479.

Israel responded to criticism of his team with "lions don't care about the opinions of sheep," while also stating he doesn't spend more than ten seconds listening to his opponents' criticisms.[13]

On April 20, 2018, the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association opened a no-confidence vote for members, scheduled to conclude on April 26. This is the first no-confidence vote the union has brought against a sheriff.[14] The no-confidence vote concluded 534–94 against Israel.[15]

In May 2018, following the April vote of no-confidence, the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association paid for a billboard just north of Sunrise Boulevard on Interstate 95 appealing to Governor Rick Scott and referencing their vote with the phrase "There is no confidence in Sheriff Israel". The association has called for the governor to remove Israel following his handling of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zwirz, Elizabeth (2019-01-08). "Florida governor suspends Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, sources say". Fox News. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  2. ^ "Gov. DeSantis Removes BSO Sheriff Scott Israel From Office; 'I Have No Interest In Dancing On His Political Grave'". 11 January 2019.
  3. ^ Wallman, Lisa J. Huriash, Anthony Man, Linda Trischitta, Brittany. "Sheriff Scott Israel dumped over Parkland shooting failures; new sheriff is Gregory Tony".
  4. ^ Swisher, Skyler. "Sheriff Scott Israel: Career defined by controversy and fury over failures during Parkland shooting".
  5. ^ a b c Valys, Phillip (February 24, 2018). "Who is Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel?". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  6. ^ Wallman, Brittany (19 May 2009). "Candidate had praise, complaints as officer". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  7. ^ Hobbs, Stephen; O'Matz, Megan (June 3, 2017). "Fort Lauderdale airport shooting: We failed to take control, Sheriff's Office says". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  8. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (February 26, 2018). "Sheriff's Deputy Defends Actions in Florida Shooting, Denying He Was a 'Coward'". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  9. ^ Huriash, Lisa J.; O'Matz, Megan (February 23, 2018). "Police say more deputies waited outside school during Stoneman Douglas shooting". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  10. ^ Tapper, Jake (February 24, 2018). "Sources: Coral Springs police upset at some Broward deputies for not entering schoo". CNN. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  11. ^ Devine, Curt; Pagliery, Jose (February 27, 2018). "Sheriff says he got 23 calls about shooter's family, but records show more". CNN. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Scott Israel resignation sought by Bill Hager after Florida school shooting". Associated Press. February 25, 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  13. ^ a b Brittany Wallman (27 August 2016). "Sheriff's hiring of political supporters under fire". Tronc publications. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  14. ^ Flores, Rosa (20 April 2018). "Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to face no-confidence vote from his own deputies". CNN. Archived from the original on 21 April 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Broward Deputies Union Has "No Confidence" In Sheriff Scott Israel". CBS Miami. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  16. ^ Swisher, Skyler (4 May 2018). "Union pays for I-95 billboard expressing 'no confidence' in Sheriff Scott Israel". Sun-Sentinel. Broward County, Florida: Tronc. ISSN 0744-8139. Archived from the original on 5 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.