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Our nation has witnessed, once again, another tragedy that took place at the hands of five Memphis police officers. Incidents like this spark outrage and distrust from the people we serve and disappointment among our ranks.

When I entered the law enforcement profession, I did so taking an oath to serve and protect – an honor I hold with high regard, and one I implore among our ranks. While the actions of a few can tarnish the efforts of many, the Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) has taken progressive steps toward preventing incidents like this from happening in Broward County.

Since becoming Sheriff, I've worked with our organization's leadership core to implement policies and procedures that identify areas of concern, address behaviors, enhance training and hold people accountable for their actions. The below highlights some of these initiatives:

  • Early Warning System: A process designed to detect policy violations and misconduct through the use of various review boards: Use of Force Review Board, Vehicle Pursuit Review Board and the Shooting Review Board. 
  • Professional Standards Committee (PSC): We restructured the PSC to include greater diversity and inclusiveness – including minority members, qualified civilians and BSO command staff. The PSC gives the public a voice in critical decisions regarding discipline of deputies accused of wrongdoing. 
  • Racial Intelligence Training (RITE): Training focused on reinforcing a bias-free workplace, racial and cultural sensitivity and de-escalation techniques. While BSO nears 100% completion for all deputies, we have also funded the RITE Train-The-Trainer Course, expanding this valuable training opportunity to all local law enforcement agencies to train their personnel. 
  • 8 Can't Wait: BSO is in full compliance with the eight immediate proven steps to curtail police violence. 
  • Neighborhood Support Team: A proactive law enforcement presence in the community designed to make law enforcement more visible, reduce fear and support interactions between the public and law enforcement. 
  • Civilian Review Board: BSO supported the establishment of Broward County's first Police and Criminal Justice Civilian Review Board. The board works to develop best practices and community standards concerning matters of use of force, police misconduct and other bias concerns within the criminal justice. Their recommendations are provided to the County Commission for further consideration for police and other criminal justice agencies. 
  • National Use of Force Data Collection: Created by the FBI to provide nationwide statistics on use-of-force-incidents. The collection captures all data related to use of force incidents involving death, serious bodily injury, or the discharge of a firearm at or in the direction of a person. The Broward Sheriff's Office has been reporting this data to the federal agency since 2019.

At BSO, we understand the value of maintaining trust from those we serve. As a public safety organization, we will continue to evaluate policies and build programs centered around doing what is right, responsible, fair and equitable while being accountable and transparent with the community.

Service Equals Reward

Sheriff Gregory Tony