Ten months after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and staff dead, the sheriff of Broward County where the incident took place says policy is being changed to require officers to try to confront active shooters, instead of leaving it optional.
In reaction to the change, Sheriff Scott Israel is being pummeled on social media by many wondering why such a shooting-back policy was not in effect before the Valentine’s Day tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
On Twitter, some comments include:
- Perhaps this should have been the policy BEFORE students were slaughtered at Parkland? Just an idea.
- The man is a law-enforcement genius. Such revolutionary thinking. Way to go, Scott. How many months did it take for you to come up with this plan?
- In a related story, the Broward County fire chief issued orders to all firefighters, that when confronting a fire, they must now extinguish it. I could do this all day.
- Another new policy suggestion for @scottisrael: don’t go on national TV two days after a tragedy blaming everyone else.
- So they are admitting the policies they had in place are at the very least partially to blame.
- Don’t you think that’s just a bit too late now?
- Finally. Thank You, #NRA. Our persistence is getting good results. Next up, resign Sheriff Israel.
- What an insult to the loved ones whose children were murdered! Shameful it wasn’t instituted long ago.
- Fire this man already. Sheesh.
On Saturday, the local newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, analyzed the events of last February and noted:
“Israel comes across as a politician who is quick to defend and slow to punish despite mounting evidence of problems.
“Eight sheriff’s deputies stood outside Stoneman Douglas listening to gunshots inside. The sheriff’s own policies allowed deputies to decide for themselves whether to go in and confront the killer. Deputies claimed they couldn’t remember specifics of how they’d been trained for an active shooter. The commander at the scene appeared ‘dream-like’ and overwhelmed. Tips warning about the shooter Nikolas Cruz’s plans were mishandled. And police radios, a problem for years, froze and left cops unable to communicate.”
Israel defended himself to the Sun-Sentinel, saying, “I’m certainly responsible for everything that goes on at the agency, good or bad,” Israel said. “But as I’ve said before, the only person responsible for the deaths of those individuals and shooting 17 other people is the killer.”
The sheriff’s elected term expires in 2020, and he’s adamant about not leaving office voluntarily.
“As I’ve said before, I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said. “I’m not considering resigning or anything like that. I will remain the sheriff as long as the people of Broward County want me.”