DAVIE (CBSMiami) – There is a new acting police chief in charge in Davie, just days after Dale Engle was placed on administrative leave following controversial comments he allegedly made regarding the death of a Broward Sheriff Deputy who died of COVID-19.
The Town Administrator appointed former Davie Police Chief Patrick Lynn as the Acting Police Chief on Thursday.
Chief Lynn served as Davie’s Police Chief for close to 10 years before he retired in 2017.
Lemack said Chief Lynn has “the institutional knowledge of the agency, the community, along with the requisite leadership skills to provide interim guidance and support.”
Chief Lynn will assume this temporary role while allegations brought forward by the Fraternal Order of Police against current Police Chief, Dale Engle, are being investigated.
The complaint from Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council Committee claims Engle berated several Davie officers who expressed concerns about the level of protection from COVID-19 while on duty.
Engle also reportedly belittled the death of BSO Deputy Shannon Bennett claiming his death was caused by his ‘homosexual’ lifestyle, the officers allege.
The police union complaint states Engle made the remarks during an angry tirade against the officers after a patrol briefing on April 7.
The complaint states “Chief Engle allegedly yelled about a ‘backstory’ which proclaimed Deputy Bennett contracted and died from the virus because he was a ‘homosexual who attended homosexual sexual events.”
It states, “He intimated that it was because of the homosexual lifestyle that Deputy Bennett first contracted a serious underlying disease which aggravated the COVID-19 virus and lead to his death.”
Deputy Bennett was a 12-year-veteran of BSO when he passed away of COVID-19.
Later, Engle sent a departmental email where he attempted to “walk back some of his comments and minimize them as an attempt to ‘provide as much information as possible,’ and that they may have been ‘taken out of context.’”