The International Union of Police Association votes no confidence for BSO Sheriff

The International Union of Police Association votes no confidence for BSO Sheriff

Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association, said Thursday that out of 628 votes, 534 Broward County deputies cast a ballot to say they "no longer have confidence" in Sheriff Scott Israel.

A union of deputies in Florida on Thursday announced it has "no confidence" in Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

The Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association initiated the vote last Friday, citing crushed morale amid national criticism of how the agency handled its response to the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Before the vote, Israel had dismissed the union's efforts as "really and truly inconsequential", and attempted to smear the vote as a tactic in the deputies' salary negotiations. The actual power to remove the sheriff from office is in the hands of the state Senate. Members were asked to lodge their collective opinion on Israel's future following tempestuous months within their ranks as a result of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Afterward, he talked about the no-confidence vote. "As your largest union, we support you and have confidence in how you are running this large complex agency". Also, he said Israel says the office can not afford new guns, equipment and training for deputies but the agency underspent its budget by $100 million last year and is on pace to do it again this year.

The association will be taking the issue up with lawmakers in Tallahassee, where they will ask Gov. Rick Scott to "do his job" and re-evaluate Israel's position within the sheriff's office, Bell said. What's changed since then? "One thing, I denied them a 6.5 percent raise", explained Israel. What Bell is hoping will next transpire is that this blatant show of dissatisfaction will become an impetus for Gov. Scott to remove Israel.

More than a week after the shooting, Israel announced that Peterson "did nothing" as he stayed outside the school as shots rang out for more than four minutes. Peterson retired rather than accept an unpaid suspension.

The head of the deputies' union said Israel has refused to take responsibility and department morale has been "crushed".

"My job is to continue to do the job I was elected to do, which is to ensure the safety of Broward County's 1.9 million residents", the statement said. "This has never been about a contract, this has been about his longstanding bad policies, his failure of leadership".

Israel denounced the vote, saying the union's boss is using "to shamelessly use the Parkland tragedy to extort a 6.5 percent pay raise this year from our agency" in a guest op-ed written for the Sun Sentinel.

"My focus has always been on protecting Broward County", he said. "I will not be distracted from my duties by this inconsequential IUPA union vote, which was created to extort a 6.5 percent pay raise from this agency", his statement read. "The unions representing a vast majority of our employees solidly support the leadership of this agency".



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