Former Broward County sheriff Scott Israel, who was ousted amid complaints about his department’s failed response to the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla. last year, has announced that he will seek to reclaim his old job in next year’s elections.
Israel, 63, who was elected in 2012 and reelected in 2016, filed paperwork launching his campaign for sheriff on Monday.
“We as a team are going to run one way or another for a third term so this was going to happen, anyway,” Israel said. “I want to get back to working with the incredible men and women of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. I want to get back to my communities.”
Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, suspended Israel, a Democrat, in January, citing the failures that plagued the response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day of last year. As the shooter opened fire inside the school, killing 17 students and teachers and injuring 17 morem as Broward sheriff’s deputies frittered away precious minutes outside the building, taking cover and hiding.
Of the eight officers nicknamed the “cowards of Broward” for their failure to respond to the emergency, four have been fired, three will remain on duty, and former school-resource officer Scot Peterson has been arrested for child neglect, culpable negligence, and perjury.
Israel will likely run against Sheriff Gregory Tony, the Coral Springs police sergeant who replaced him.