Reporting Joan Murray
SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – Broward County has a new top cop as Scott Israel is officially sworn in and takes over the reigns of BSO from outgoing Sheriff Al Lamberti.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at The Faith Center, located at 5555 NW 9th Avenue in Sunrise.
Before taking his oath, two of Israel’s triplets spoke in glowing terms of the dad who has never missed a sporting event in which they participated.
“If he’s half as good a sheriff as dad, Broward will be a better safer, place,” said his son Brett Israel.
Then Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes administered the oath, ending with the words, “Congratulations Sheriff Israel!”
In his speech Israel talked of the tough loss to Lamberti in 2008 and his decision to run again in 2012.
‘My wife was on board,” he said.
Israel said it won’t be business as usual within the department and promised an end to the good old boys mentality. He’ll focus on greater diversity within the agency and establishing stronger ties with communities.
Israel also pledged to reduce crime and enhance the quality of life for Broward residents.
“Our cultural change begins today by me asking our leaders not to rule by fear or retribution,” said Israel. ”I’ll do everything I can to keep assault weapons out of Broward County. Kids need books and footballs, not handguns and knives.”
Spectators said they were encouraged by what they heard.
“We liked that he addressed people of every race, color and creed,” said Elaine Nudelman.
“It’s not going to be politics as usual. He’s going to be the sheriff,” agreed Randi Geller of Deerfield Beach.
Added Christopher Coleman, “I’m extremely hopeful we have a strong leader in Scott Israel.”
Israel says he won’t insist that the people he manages will have to support him in the next election.
“If we’re doing our job, we will win re-election,” he said.
Voters elected Israel to the position in November. He’ll lead the 5,500 employees of the Broward Sheriff’s Office and be responsible for the safety of nearly two million people in Broward County.
Israel has spent the last 30 years in law enforcement. He started with the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department where he spent part of that time as Captain and a SWAT team Commander. After he retired, he was tapped to become the Police Chief of North Bay Village.