FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Deputies from the Broward Sheriff’s Office packed into the union hall this week to meet their new boss. Broward Sheriff Elect Scott Israel was there for a frank discussion on what the 6,000 member agency can expect under his leadership.
“We will have change,” Isreal told CBS4’s Ted Scouten before the closed door meeting. “Change is best done quickly when you know it’s inevitable, so we’ll make some changes and move forward.”
Israel promised no large scale bloodbaths among the rank and file. He plans to observe and see what works, but he will do some extensive house cleaning in the upper offices.
“The command staff will look different,” he said. “If I wasn’t prepared to make changes and I wanted to keep the same staff that my predecessor had, I wouldn’t have run for office.”
When it comes to crime, an immediate focus will be burglaries which seem to be the biggest issue in Broward.
The Sheriff-Elect also promised swift change in how the agency deals with juvenile criminals.
“I want to get to work on a robust civil citation program,” said Israel. “Where if we do arrest a juvenile or we do give a juvenile a civil citation that their lives aren’t ruined and they can still compete for jobs down the road.”
But Israel said he is facing a major road block in putting his plans into place. “The transition is not going as I expected due to not being allowed in the building.”
Current Sheriff Al Lamberti will not allow Israel and his transition team to set up shop in the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters. Lamberti declined to go on camera to talk about it, but said he does not want non-employees opening an office and working inside a building that requires security access.
“Sometimes you’re dealt lemons and you have to turn it into lemonade,” said Israel. “We will hit the ground running, but it’s definitely slowing up the process.”
For the time being, Israel is conducting transition business at an outside office. His first day in the building will be swearing in day which is January 8th.