(Excerpts from the Sun-Sentinel article of August 30, 2016)
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel trounced his three Democratic challengers Tuesday, a victory he said was a validation of the direction he's taken the agency.
Israel's socially liberal programs resounded in the heavily Democratic county. He supported and began rolling out police body cameras, mandated civil citations instead of arrests for juveniles with relatively clean records, and publicly supported a new county law allowing people with small amounts of marijuana to be issued a civil citation instead of being handled criminally with an arrest. He publicly embraced stricter gun control laws. He teamed up with religious groups to give food to poor people...
"I'm a very community oriented sheriff," he said recently. "No one has been as visible as me."
Israel also has tapped directly into diverse groups, appearing in black churches to tout his programs to keep kids out of jail, advertising that he's the "first Jewish sheriff" in campaign pieces, and hiring a top Muslim activist in Broward.
As Israel prepared to celebrate...he said Tuesday night that he was "happy for the team I've built ... There are individual sports like swimming, and there are team sports. This is a team victory and I feel so amazingly proud of my team."
Israel faces Republican Santiago Vazquez Jr., a former Broward Sheriff's Office sergeant, on the ballot in November.
SCOTT ISRAEL HAS EARNED ANOTHER TERM AS SHERIFF
Excerpts from Sun-Sentinel endorsement: (Sun Sentinel Editorial Board August 15, 2016)
... The editorial board feels [Sheriff Scott Israel] is the obvious, best choice against three opponents in the Aug. 30 primary.
The three challengers ... don't have the experience needed to handle an agency with about 6,000 employees and a total budget that is north of $700 million. ... Israel made promises when he became sheriff, and he has made good on many of them.
He said he would make Broward County a safer place, and he has.
Burglaries are way down in BSO-patrolled areas (from 5,556 to 3,210) since he took over. Violent crime has also been reduced substantially (from 23,983 incidents to 19,564.)
Israel said he would increase diversity among BSO personnel. He has done that, also, increasing the percentage of Asian, Hispanic and African-American sworn deputies.
Israel wanted to give juvenile offenders a chance to avoid jail when possible for lesser crimes, and he's done it by expanding the civil citation program.
He has also been very vocal concerning gun violence, opposing open carry legislation and a law that would allow concealed weapons on campuses. He is also implementing body cameras for his deputies.
And he has made community policing the cornerstone of his first term.
"It's a cultural change," Israel told the editorial board. "BSO was foundering (when he defeated Al Lamberti in 2012). There was no connection to the community. We needed to bring in strong leaders. It's working, it's efficient. I think the people of Broward County recognize the type of leadership I provide." ... Scott Israel is the best choice to stay on as Broward sheriff.
To read the complete editorial, please see: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/endorsements/fl-endorse-bcsheriff-scott-israel-20160806-story.htm
PRESS RELEASE: Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has become the first ever countywide Democratic candidate in Broward history to qualify for the ballot by petition signatures. To qualify for countywide office, the Sheriff was required to submit 10,675 certified petitions, and he submitted considerably more to the Supervisor of Elections office to ensure he was safely over that amount.
“It is an amazing show of our broad based, grassroots support that over ten thousand Broward Democrats signed cards to place my name on the ballot. I am grateful for their show of support in the work I've done over the past four years. I'm also very grateful to the dedicated campaign volunteers who spent hundreds of hours helping us with this enormous effort. We really enjoyed the opportunity to talk one-on-one with tens of thousands of Broward voters.”
According to Amy Rose, Campaign Manager for Sheriff Israel, “this achievement is particularly significant as it represents more than 10% of the total number of ballots likely to be cast in the August primary. Starting with this commitment of support from Broward Democratic voters is a huge advantage for Sheriff Israel heading into the primary."
Elected in 2012, Sheriff Scott Israel is a career law enforcement officer who has successfully implemented new policies and approaches to public safety that sharply reduced violent crime and burglary rates since taking office. The Sheriff’s innovative initiatives have also helped keep children in school and out of jail. He has worked to combat gun violence, helped the homeless, and diversified the agency at all levels to better reflect our community. Sheriff Israel also stands out in the law enforcement community for his vocal support for tougher gun control laws and for moving forward with his program to equip all uniformed law enforcement deputies with body cameras.
With this impressive record, it is no surprise Sheriff Israel is often called Florida’s most progressive and successful sheriff. Broward County is truly safer and more united as a result of his dynamic leadership.
For more information about Sheriff Israel or his campaign, please visit www.SheriffIsrael.com
By Daniel Vasquez - Beyond a gun and badge, all police officers should be armed with body cameras.
Cameras won't root out all bad things that come with the tremendously tough job of law enforcement, but video footage will go a long way in helping protect the public from bad cops and good cops from bad people who want to discredit a peace officer for doing his or her job.
Hats off to Broward Sheriff Scott Israel for taking the bold stand of launching a pilot program meant to eventually outfit some 1,400 deputies who serve Broward and a number of cities in the county.Read more
By Daniel Hicks - Nobody’s perfect. But Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is pretty close, at least in terms of his record on LGBT inclusion and community policing while breathing new life into county law enforcement.
Current statistics show that violent crime in Broward County is down a whopping 20.5 percent, compared to 2.8 percent for the state as a whole over the past two years. So I sat down with Florida’s first Jewish sheriff this week to talk about the tremendous strides his department has made in just the two plus years since he took office. Truth be told, as a journalist, I wanted to find at least one skeleton hanging in his closet. Just one!Read more
By Marvin Glassman - Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and philanthropist David Schulman were honored as Humanitarians Of The Year by the Soref Jewish Community Center in Plantation at a fund raising dinner that took place recently at the Signature Grand in Davie.
"As the first Jewish Sheriff in Florida history, I am honored to be recognized tonight as Humanitarian Of The Year by the Soref Jewish Community Center. It is a privilege to be acknowledged by an organization that does so much great work for so many," said Israel, addressing the 500 people who attended the event.Read more
By Buddy Nevins - Sheriff Scott Israel has raised $247,454 for his re-election and he doesn’t even have an opponent yet.
In financial reports through the end of March, Israel’s campaign has raised $73,895. His Citizens for Effective Law Enforcement political committee based in Tallahassee raised another $173,559.Read more
A message from Sheriff Scott Israel: Dogs and people have been working side by side for thousands of years. Since the early 1980s, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit (or K-9) has assisted in serving and protecting residents and visitors countywide. Specially-trained canines are invaluable to our deputies when tracking criminals, finding illegal materials, retrieving evidence and searching for missing people.Read more
By Chris Joseph - The Big Aristotle loves him some Israel.
Former Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neil has officially endorsed BSO Sheriff Scott Israel for 2016 as an honorary cochair for the sheriff's reelection. Israel, who beat out Al Lamberti in 2012 for the top-cop position at Broward Sheriff's Office, filed his reelection papers last month.Read more