Sheriff Scott Israel has shared several of the changes implemented by the Broward Sheriff’s Office in response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead and 17 injured, and resulted in multi-pronged litigation.
In a letter shared publicly on Wednesday, Israel informed Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the chair of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, of the various alterations made to the South Florida law enforcement agency. Although Israel’s email contained documents contrasting the BSO’s policies before and after the shooting, he singled out a number of “highlights of the reforms [the BSO] already adopted.” This included the enrollment of all BSO School Resource Officers into a week’s worth ”of active shooter, tactics, and concealed carbine carry/qualification training” as well as the opening of investigations into Sgt. Brian Miller and Deputy Edward Eason. The two officers were disciplined in November after body cam footage revealed that after arriving at Stoneman Douglas, Miller and Eason declined to enter the building where shooter Nikolas Cruz was active.
Israel’s letter also singled out the amended BSO active-shooter policy. According to the sheriff, the new policy is more consistent with the training provided by the BSO for active-shooter scenarios.
Read Israel’s letter: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EyjTutgkqg46cM9cePaIsiAp_FpOnFNW/view?usp=sharing
“Deputies responding to active threat(s) incidents shall attempt to protect the life of innocent persons through immediate tactical intervention to eliminate the threat,” the policy reads. “In such scenarios, the prioritization of activities in order of importance will be: 1. Stop the active assailant(s); 2. Rescue the victims; 3. Provide medical assistance; 4. Arrest suspects and preserve the crime scene.”
Among the attachments included with the letter is a document outlining the law enforcement agency’s standard operating procedure for responding to active shooters. The document outlines the respective responsibilities of different response teams and reflects the changes made to the BSO’s active shooter policy.
“Be assured, the reforms adopted to date are not the end of this process. Rather, they are a midway point as we continue working towards addressing all of the findings related to our agency and implementing all of the Commission’s recommendations,” Israel wrote.
Both Israel and the BSO have received heavy condemnation for their response to Cruz’s massacre at his former high school. Criticism has centered heavily on the agency’s response time to the shooting, as well as its failure to prevent Cruz from causing harm despite his extensive history of erratic behavior and unsettling remarks.