Former Parkland sheriff will head much smaller police force
MIAMI (AP) — The Florida sheriff ostracized for his agency’s response to the high school massacre in Parkland that left 17 people dead will again be heading a law enforcement agency as the police chief of a small South Florida municipality.
Former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was appointed police chief of Opa-locka in an announcement made by city manager Darvin Williams at a ceremony Friday. Opa-locka is part of Miami-Dade County.
Williams said the former sheriff will start Monday and oversee 47 officers. Broward’s sheriff’s office has about 5,600 employees, including about 2,700 deputies and about 700 firefighters.
Israel said he was looking forward to serving the people of Opa-locka and thanked God for the opportunity.
“I won’t let you down,” Israel said Friday.
Israel was removed from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2019, nearly a year after the February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, saying the sheriff displayed poor leadership and failed to keep children safe during the mass shooting.
DeSantis appointed Gregory Tony to take over the sheriff’s office in Broward. Then Tony beat Israel in the Democratic primary for the position in 2020 and went on to win the general election.
In 2021, Israel was hired by the police department in Davie, Florida, a municipality in Broward County, to review five red light cameras and appear in court if anyone challenged a ticket.