News from BSO


Thirty-five year law enforcement veteran Lieutenant Colonel Joe Gerwens has announced plans to retire from the Broward Sheriff's Office on October 1st. He is director of the Department of Community Control.

Lt. Col. Gerwens, 56, began his career in September 1966 as a patrol officer for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. He worked his way up through the ranks, launching the first tactical stake-out unit in the early 1970s as a sergeant. As lieutenant, he was in charge of internal affairs, and ran the agency’s organized crime unit as captain. Gerwens was promoted to major, and then to deputy police chief under then-Chief Ron Cochran. Gerwens succeeded him as chief, heading the Fort Lauderdale Police Department from 1987 until his retirement in 1992.

Gerwens came to BSO in 1993 with newly-elected Sheriff Cochran as director of regional services, expecting to stay a couple of years. But two years stretched into eight and a half, as Gerwens was promoted to Inspector General, overseeing internal affairs investigations and staff inspections from 1995 to 2000. Last year, Sheriff Ken Jenne promoted him to Lieutenant Colonel, in charge of BSO’s newly-created Department of Community Control. He has helped guide innovative programs for Broward County offenders returning to the community such as Drug Court and Pre-Trial Release. He also oversees substance abuse counseling programs for the inmates in Broward County’s four jails.

Closing this chapter of his law enforcement career will allow Lt. Col. Gerwens to open the door to new professional opportunities and challenges. He plans to continue his long history of community service, which has included three terms as chair of the Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse and two terms as president of the YMCA of Broward County.

“Joe’s contributions to this agency and to the community will long be remembered,” Sheriff Jenne said. “It will be a challenge finding someone to succeed him who can match his expertise.”

Sheriff Jenne has not yet selected a replacement.

MEDIA NOTE: A picture of Lt. Col. Gerwens is linked to this release under media relations, current releases, on the BSO website:

Posted At: 07/17/2001 12:00 AM


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