Police union calls for sheriff to come clean with Parkland shooting records

While most of the criticism over LE’s response to the shooting is focused on Sheriff Scott Israel, Deputy Jeff Bell said deputies are also paying the price


By PoliceOne Staff

PARKLAND, Fla. — A police union wants Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to release all of the facts related to the Parkland school shooting as the agency continues to face criticism.

Deputy Jeff Bell said that while Israel has been the focus of criticism for the agency’s handling of the shooting, deputies are also paying the price, WPLG reports

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks during a news conference at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks during a news conference at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

"It's the deputies that are out on the street taking the beating," said Bell, who serves as the president of the IUPA union, which represents the rank and filed at BSO. "It's the individual deputy that is getting the comments of being called a coward and, 'Oh, you're working for the Coward County Sheriff's Office.' Those are confirmed reports." 

Bell was reacting in part to a new website the sheriff’s office set up, bsofactcheck.org.

"Releasing little tidbits of information without anything to back up those points -- the only thing it does is create more speculation out there," Bell said. "You can't pick what you want to release."

Little information about how police responded to the scene has come out. Israel has criticized SRO Scot Peterson, who didn’t enter the building while shooter Nikolas Cruz was carrying out his attack. Peterson has since defended himself.

The sheriff has also not disputed the allegation by Coral Spring officers that additional BCSO deputies also failed to go inside the school at the time of the shooting. 

Israel has yet to release dispatch notes, radio transmissions and outside surveillance video from the scene. 

"If (deputies) were given an order to take a perimeter point, I really can't blame them," he said. "That's why we're asking for transparency. Did they follow an order or was it not an order? We don't know yet." 

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