FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Broward Sheriff’s Office is implementing big changes on how they will review complaints of use of excessive force by their officers.
“We’re hitting the reset button,” said Sheriff Gregory Tony in announcing the changes.
Tony saying he’s revamping the Professional Standards Committee (PSC) which is responsible for reviewing the findings of internal affairs cases and providing disciplinary recommendations to the sheriff. He pointed to the Delucca Rolle case, where a teen was slammed to the ground and pepper-sprayed, the Parkland massacre, and several other use of force cases that prompted him to make the change.
“We had an incident, a deputy was involved and struck a man who was handcuffed while receiving medical treatment. The recommendations that came forth from our Professionals Standards Committee was to suspend for a few days. I had to terminate him,” said Tony.
Tony said the PSC board was a holdover from Sheriff Scott Israel’s time in office.
“There is a current group that’s sitting on this Professional Standards Committee that I have never interviewed, I never spoke to, I never established goals and objectives, I’ve never established principles. I never established what direction we are taking this organization,” he said.
The sheriff said he and his command staff interviewed each of the 11 new PSC board members, which includes four representatives from the community. Tony said in the past, board members felt intimidated to speak up. hat’s why he appointed former Judge Julio Gonzalez as the chairman.
“People should feel free to voice their opinion in a manner where they don’t feel they are being bullied, they don’t feel attacked for their particular view,” said Gonzalez.
The members from the law enforcement community on the new panel are Major Kevin Granville, Major Anthony Demarco, and Major Timothy Irvin (alternative). The members from the detention department are Major Sherea Green, Major Timothy Landelier, and Captain Jose Acosta (alternative).
The four community members are Fred E. Karlinsky with Greenberg Traurig; Lerenzo Calhoun, City of Tamarac Director of Human Resources/Risk and Safety; Jonathan K. Osborne with Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart and Dorothy Davis, a labor consultant with Broward County Schools.
Also on the panel as “unrepresented representatives” are Finance Director Heath Mitchell, Assistant DOD Director Darren Sieger, and Classification/Compensation Manager Joanna Hely (alternative).
No name has been listed for the union representative. It will change depending on what union is involved in the incident being reviewed.
Tony has also set up a seven-member “Use of Force Review Board.”
The current Professional Standards Committee will finish the work they have right now, reviewing those cases. The new committee members will take over in March.