FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s briefings informed the world of the horror that unfolded in Parkland. It’s a horror he says has taken a piece of him.
Israel says it’s now up to elected officials to enact what he calls common sense gun laws.
“I’ve never been more proud of law enforcement,” said Sheriff Israel.
Israel became the face of law enforcement last week, when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz slaughtered 14 students and three teachers at his former high school – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The 30-year south Florida police veteran, in office since 2013, was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight.
When facing questions about whether his deputies missed something while being called to Cruz’s home 20-plus times dating back to 2012, he said,
“I don’t know that anything was missed. We’re going to look at every single call for service. If one of my officers was remiss, I’ll handle it accordingly,” said Israel.
He has not been shy about telling lawmakers what they need to do.
“If we even have a perceived threat of a person, I want to grow up to be a serial killer, and we see graphic detestable things on their social media post, I believe we should have the power as police officers to baker act them and get them treated,” said Israel. “They shouldn’t be given back their guns three days later, or even months later. They should go at least a year, in my opinion, and then a doctor should have to say that they’ve been treated and their second amendment rights should be reinstituted.”
He wants more armed school resource officers in schools, but is not convinced arming teachers is a viable option.
”That’s a conversation. There are so many nuances that have to be considered, training protocols. That’s a work in progress,” said Israel.
Sheriff Israel hosted President Trump at BSO headquarters last Friday.
“The president was open minded. He seemed very engaged. He told me he is going to go back to D.C. and consider all the things I brought up. It was a positive meeting,” said Israel.
He says he’s very impressed with the students of Parkland who are leading a new national conversation on gun violence.
“God bless these young children,” said Sheriff Israel.
He said elected officials, in Tallahassee and Washington should listen to them.
“They want common sense gun laws. They’re articulate, intelligent, passionate. They want to be safe in schools. What they’re asking for is common sense things that we should be doing for them,” said Israel.
Sheriff Israel has triplets who went to Stoneman Douglas High School. He said he could not help thinking about them while walking the blood-spattered halls of the school last week.