IN RESPONSE TO JEFF BELL’S ALLEGATIONS OF INTIMIDATION BY BSO COMMAND

Broward Sheriff's Office: Public Information Office

PIO Number: 19-5-4

Date: May 1, 2019

The press release by IUPA 6020 with respect to an alleged “intimidation attempt” at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, if left unanswered, would mislead the public and the valued employees of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.   

Attached to this release is the un-redacted recording of the meeting between Deputy Bell and Colonel Zukowsky. Deputy Bell was called in to meet with the Undersheriff in an effort to investigate his claims to the media about new aggressive training tactics and the Tamarac incident. Bell was well aware that Sheriff Tony was conducting a full review of the Tamarac incident and that this review was critical to the mission of BSO. Instead of being forthcoming to address these critical issues he was asserting, Bell refused to answer questions and refused to assist in a full review of alleged training irregularities that he himself had alleged in public statements. It is clear from the recording that the request for Bell’s assistance was voluntary, that no threats or intimidation were used against him, and that Colonel Zukowsky was not “sending a message to other members they would be next.” Also attached are the notes that Colonel Zukowsky intended to ask Deputy Bell.

This most recent press release by IUPA 6020 is yet the latest attempt by Deputy Bell to mischaracterize events. It should be made clear that Sheriff Tony has made no changes to the use of force policy since his appointment.  

Furthermore, Deputy Bell attended the defensive tactics training on February 11, 2019 and did not report any concerns about “aggressive police tactics” following that training. In fact, every deputy that completed the training with Deputy Bell and who completed an evaluation after the training noted a very positive experience and expressed no concerns about the training or the tactics used.  Attached are the evaluations of the training completed by the attendees of the February 11, 2019 training.  

Lastly, despite Deputy Bell’s assertion that the tactics used during the incident on April 18, 2019 were the result of new, over-aggressive training tactics “pushed” by Sheriff Tony, it should be made known that Deputy Krickovich never attended defensive tactics training under Sheriff Tony’s administration.  

Deputy Bell’s comments are attacks on the Sheriff for a personal political agenda relating to his union objectives. These statements disrupt and divide and foster disloyalty and dissension in the ranks.  Sheriff Tony will always welcome the opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the deputy/sergeant’s union to address concerns.  However, the purposeful dissemination of misinformation, personal disparagement of command and unfounded accusations do a grave disservice to our agency and to the community, particularly at this time.  We expect all BSO personnel to uphold the highest standards of conduct to promote mutual respect, trust and efficiency necessary for the performance of our duties. 

Audio recording of meeting about defensive training concerns: https://app.box.com/s/88b20k7qy0fmiugjzkcloqmwtcl1ay7f 

Questions posed to Bell during meeting: https://app.box.com/s/34yjhai5rbaw8z7hs4qp2v6rwlfwo4ix