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Achieving Results Amid a Challenging Year

Sheriff Scott Isreal

Sheriff Scott Isreal

Achieving Results Amid a Challenging Year

2017 has been an amazing year for the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Thanks to the amazing men and women of BSO, we accomplished so much.

In January, we faced our worst nightmare when an active shooter ruthlessly murdered five people and wounded six more innocent victims in the baggage area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  BSO, local and federal law enforcement agencies and first responders did a phenomenal job rushing into a dangerous and chaotic situation and peacefully apprehended the shooter within just 85 seconds of his first shot being fired, and without incident or any further loss of life.  Despite the terrible loss of life from the initial attack, it proved to be one of the finest hours in law enforcement.

This year, we also ramped up our efforts in the battle against the very deadly opioid crisis. Together with our important community partners, BSO poured resources into defeating this alarming epidemic, which claimed the lives of more than 500 Broward residents in 2016 alone – roughly double the rate of the prior year. One of our biggest victories this year was the sweeping arrests of 82 heroin dealers and distributors. The idea was to target the suppliers for arrest – not the addicts, who are in need of treatment.

As BSO drug detectives and deputies are working at a feverish pace to enforce drug laws and arresting those responsible for selling these dangerous drugs, we are also educating the public through town hall meetings and community forums. Education campaigns also continue in middle and high schools, PTAs and community organizations. We also believe substance abuse treatment is an important part of winning this fight. We understand, however, that there will be no easy victory, but we are confronting this head on in our efforts to secure fruitful results.

Broward County also experienced a brutal hurricane season this year. For the second straight year, Broward found itself in the crosshairs of another potentially devastating hurricane. And like last year, BSO showed we were prepared for anything Mother Nature had in store for us. Fortunately, we escaped the brunt of this catastrophic hurricane season, although Broward still experienced Category 2 hurricane conditions from Irma.  Our friends in the Florida Keys and Puerto Rico weren’t as fortunate. In their time of need, BSO answered the call for help, rushed to the aid of these hard-hit areas and assisted in whatever manner was needed for their recovery.

Through the ups and downs of this year, the men and women of BSO stayed true to their mission to provide the best public safety services to both residents and visitors alike, even when confronted with herculean challenges. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

As 2017 draws to a close, I’m excited for what we have in store for next year. In the coming months, BSO will launch several new, groundbreaking initiatives focused on our youth, as well as individuals with special needs. We will open up a video visitation center to make it easier to communicate and interact with individuals incarcerated in our county jails. And we will introduce an exciting new community policing campaign focused on promoting respect and dignity for our diverse communities and our law enforcement officers. These programs and initiatives will expand the top-notch services Broward residents have come to expect from BSO—and more importantly, continue to ensure the safety of all.

To all my friends and neighbors: have a healthy, happy and safe holiday season. I’ll see you in the New Year.

Sheriff Scott Israel

 

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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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