FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Broward’s new sheriff, with his hat in hand, visited the County Commission on Tuesday.
Scott Israel presented his budget during a meeting at the Governmental Center in Ft. Lauderdale.
Israel is requesting $760.7 million dollars. It’s an increase of $93.7 million dollars from last year’s BSO budget.
With his predecessor looking on, Israel took some jabs at the prior administration.
While not naming names, Israel was directly critical of former sheriff, Al Lamberti.
“Structurally we came to an agency in disarray. Morale has improved dramatically,” said Israel.
“We inherited some outlandish and outrageous contracts,” he said referring to the policing services BSO provides to cities in the county.
“The previous administration budgeted $800,000 for payouts only to $4.8 million dollars. It’s egregious,” Israel said about the shortfall created when he established his new command staff.
Israel’s hopes for the increased funding to add employees, replace equipment, and target youth and mental health initiatives.
The response from the democrat controlled commission was lukewarm.
“It’s just like any other sheriff’s budget, I want, I want, I want. I need I need, I need, all in the name of public safety, public safety, public safety,” said Commissioner Lois Wexler.
After the meeting Israel said he was happy with the reception he received from the commission.
As for the $5 million dollar shortfall brought-on by the employee turnover, Israel defended changing staff.
“I’m a strong leader and I put my team in place. We’re doing the right thing,” said Israel.
Commissioner Chip LaMarca, on the other hand, was critical.
“The men and women who were fired, resigned, or were forced out had their benefits and it had to be paid out and that money would still be in the coffers,” said LaMarca.