What's Going on in Broward County?

Broward County Sheriffs Office, an agency long accredited by CALEA standards (and currently seeking re-accreditation) appears to have a number of problems They quite possibly have more, and different problems, than what the public suspects. Breach-Bang-Clear

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What’s Going on in Broward County

The Sheriff Has Much to Answer For

David Reeder

We’re seeing a lot of discussion about one or more deputies failing to act during the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. While we’re trying not to go shark-eyed about it, recent events in Broward County don’t make it easy.

By the time school was out for summer vacation in 1999, many of LEOs in my area were learning the long-antiquated (but contemporarily lauded) “hall boss” tactics for dealing with an active shooter. Even then, just a couple months after the murders in Columbine, many of us were dubious.

Wait…you want me to wait until eight officers get here before you want me to go inside? 

That was nearly 20 years ago. It is a tactic long since superseded. Thus it defies credulity that anyone currently serving in law enforcement could possibly think that hunkering down and waiting for help is the appropriate response.

It’s not just improbable, it’s unconscionable.

Here’s a question that needs to be answered, though, and this has nothing whatsoever to do with conspiracy theories. It has everything to do with the agency, particularly if (as we are hearing) there are multiple deputies under investigation.

What’s going on at Broward County Sheriffs Office? There are hundreds of sworn deputies there. The majority are almost certainly good officers, but it stands to reason that a few of them shouldn’t be doing the job. How in the hell did several who appear to be the worst sort of LEO wind up stacking the deck in the vicinity of MSDHS on day shift, though?

At least three deputies, maybe four, are currently under scrutiny (there are conflicting reports about how many deputies were on scene).

Maybe they were cowards. Maybe they were paralyzed by stress. Maybe it was both. I find it difficult to believe it’s just that, however.

Once can be an accident. Twice can be a coincidence. Three times, though, is enemy action. So what is four times? A conspiracy? Cruel fate? What is the likelihood of that?

Broward County Sheriff's Office - BSO - after a recent mass shooting at a school.
Maybe they hid, maybe they were told to hold the perimeter, maybe something else was going on. But they damn sure did NOT do their job.


It is very hard, though not impossible, to believe multiple deputies stood by and waited out of fear…that is, unless there is something systemic going on. Bad hiring practices? Bad training? Terrible leadership in one district or on one watch? Bad Policy & Procedures? Is this a case of shuffling all sub-par, low performing or unreliable officers into area or assignment?

There’s no way four cowards just somehow wound up in one place at one time holding the perimeter while children were dying unless there is something systemic going on.

A couple of our team are reviewing one of the deputy’s training records. We’re trying to get a look at some of the other deputies’ records, particularly since we haven’t been able to get a look at their Policy & Procedures manual yet.

More to follow.


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That’s it for now. Go forth and conquer.

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12 thoughts on “What's Going on in Broward County?

  • February 26, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    A really interesting thread on Twitter alleges (pretty compellingly) that there was a large scale institutional coverup and people making enforcement decisions for political reasons for years leading up to the shooting. If true, it makes it look a lot more likely that the failures from BSO were institutional. Check it out for yourself at https://twitter.com/thelastrefuge2/status/966854507744374784

  • February 25, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    What’s going on there?

    Institutional Cowardice.

  • February 25, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Lots to unpack with this article, but I will add another possibility – – in the modern era of law enforcement, doing nothing is often the safest course of action for an officer. Not just safer physically, but safer as far as keeping your job, not getting sued, not having activists swarm your house or publish the addresses of all your relatives on the internet, etc.

    Consider that THIS is what a student said about the SWAT officers who DID rush into the school to try and address the shooter:

    ““I started to pace back and forth because I did not know what was going on,” Prado said, noting that those with eyes on him “panicked because I was matching the same description as Nikolas Cruz.”

    “I had the same clothes, same color, same facial structure, somewhat,” Prado said. “When I went out those doors, I had six SWAT members pointing their guns at me.”

    He continued: “I was tossed to the ground. I was unjustly cuffed and held at gunpoint for the degrading and depreciating action of the disturbed individual of Nikolas Cruz.”

    Full article here: https://nypost.com/2018/02/22/i-was-mistaken-for-the-florida-high-school-gunman/

    Is there any doubt that this student has already been contacted by numerous attorneys who want his family to sue the department and individual officers for ‘unjustly’ cuffing him and holding him at gunpoint? It’s the same reason that street cops all over the country are choosing to drive by that group of shady characters milling around a street corner at 3AM instead of getting out of their cruisers and performing proactive police work. It isn’t worth being the next YouTube sensation, and you are rarely going to get fired for what you did NOT do. There is basically no downside to doing nothing, and no upside to doing something. That’s called a ‘mindset’, and it’s becoming endemic in modern law enforcement.

    Adding to that is the very real lack of hands-on training that most officers receive for active shooter incidents. In our largest area department, the overwhelming amount of training dollars and resources for these incidents get pushed to the SWAT units, and that goes double for tactical firearms training. I doubt if the average flatfoot feels ANY level of confidence in their ability to effectively employ a patrol rifle in a fire and movement or room clearing environment.

    So, you get a situation where cops are no longer rewarded for aggressive police work (and are in many ways actively discouraged from performing it), so they are predisposed to not being aggressive, and their level of comfort with the type of action they need to take is low to nonexistent due to lack of training. That’s totally a recipe for officers waiting outside the building for the ‘experts’ to arrive while kids are being murdered 50 yards away.

    Put another way, the deputies who did nothing will at WORST be lat-moved to a desk job, or possibly resign prior to being fired ( with full pension if they have earned it). What would have been the WORST that could happen if some poor, terrified, undertrained grunt cop had gone in and accidentally killed or wounded one (or more) innocent students while trying to confront the shooter?

    • February 25, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      You make some excellent points. Especially about the snowflake complaining about getting detained. He should never have been given an audience with the media. Your classmates are dead and wounded and you are whining about getting handcuffed? Get over yourself you little twit.

      While I commend my agency for the hands on training we have been able to get – I have done more force on force simunitions work in the past few years than I probably did in the entire first 20 of my career- we still do not have the same practice sessions working with shotguns and rifles. I get it , it’s easier to train with the blue Glocks, but we know most of us are bringing a long gun to a known gunfight. I think it is a rare agency that does extensive practice with their long arms for the patrol guys.

      • February 26, 2018 at 11:03 am

        Agreed, JS, and I would posit that long arm training for the unwashed patrol masses is neglected in part because of public disdain for ‘aggressive’ policing. Imagine the backlash if a police chief or sheriff asked for a 20% budget bump to provide patrol rifles, upgraded ballistic protection and enhanced tactical training for their entire force of line officers. Both sides of the political spectrum would lose their collective shit, while the local media breathlessly reported on the militarization of domestic law enforcement…

        I think we ask the impossible of our officers, deputies and troopers: be nice, don’t touch me, don’t look scary and don’t bust the budget – – But be able to instantly transform into a superbly trained, razor sharp, tactical superhero, able and willing to single handedly assault a heavily armed person with a guaranteed 100% successful outcome. It’s unfair in the extreme to our LEO’s, and a ridiculous expectation of the public.

  • February 25, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Anyone capture radio traffic at the event?

  • February 25, 2018 at 11:18 am

    There is more to the story for sure Coral Springs PD and Fd did a great job

    I worked and trained CSPD and csfd I would ask the good works be focused on?

    Our guys and gals performed heroically yet we are focusing on those that may not have.

    No excuses for them but at the request of those that ran in let’s focus on the 15 years of preparation and validation of sound doctrine and tactics.

    As to BSO I have worked with and trained with outstanding operators.

    The lack of action should not reflect on the heroic BSO deputies.

    You can call me and I will be happy to share.

  • February 25, 2018 at 7:03 am

    Training? I became a cop because the idea of some scumbag victimizing and innocent person infuriates me. I don’t need a 40-hour class to teach me how to react that when you get a ‘shooting’ call at a school. That’s part of the problem. Maybe these turkeys froze up because they are trained TOO MUCH on all of the wrong topics.

    When I was the new guy, I had to sign out entry tools and carry them around in my patrol car. I didnt know WTF to do with them. I was never trained. But hell, I had lots of training on how to talk to traumatized kids or how to recognize mental illness. I even had training on Islamic Terrorism and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Are you f***ing kidding me? Room entries? How to properly clear a stairwell? Nope. That’s for SWAT guys. Sound familiar???????

  • February 25, 2018 at 4:56 am

    This is what I was thinking. My old department did the shuffle mentioned. We knew who the performers were by their shift and location assignments.

    Please keep digging. I’d be interested to hear the radio traffic also.

  • February 25, 2018 at 12:27 am

    My theory: they have not been to ALERRT training yet, which teaches solo officer response if you arrive and hear gunfire. When under stress, we fall back upon our training. These officers may well have been waiting to form up a strike team, to the detriment of those inside. Just a theory.

    That said, leadership comes from the top, and if the administration has not been encouraging aggressive action against the predators of society, then it will filter down to the lower ranks.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    After Columbine a course was created “Responce to the active shooter”, basically we all took it so that if there was another school shooting we all knew what to do. Whether it was a deputy, a trooper, a cop, and an agent on scene, we know what to do and we all go in as a team to stop the shooting. Step over the dead and wounded, but stop the shooting. Whether it’s because we kill him, he kills him self, or he gives up…STOP THE SHOOTING.


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