In the wake of any catastrophe, the victims should always be the heart of the story and everything else secondary. Not so in Parkland, Florida, where an obviously demented, disturbed 19 year old, Nikolas Cruz, mowed down 17 of his former schoolmates leaving countless others physically and emotionally wounded. Burials have put these bodies to rest and the area is struggling to recover. But strangely enough, Scott Israel, the Broward County Sheriff, the chief law enforcement officer whose responsibility it was to PREVENT this horror, immediately emerged as the Master of Ceremonies in the immediate aftermath, appearing on numerous networks in his finest, forest green uniform warning Broward politicians that they “won’t get elected” if they don’t push for gun control. But it’s not strange that Israel should get embroiled in politics while tears were still streaming down mourners’ faces.
Scott Israel is a New York native whose father was a well respected tough cop. He worked his way up the police departments in Broward and as a Republican shocked many by winning the Sheriff’s race in that heavily Democrat county. But right after he took office he became the Democrat pawn of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her House buddy, Alcee Hastings. He has been criticized for attending political events in uniform, placing his face on sides of community shredding trucks and promoting political honchos to high ranking jobs in his department. He appointed Nezar Hamze, a former leader of South Florida’s Council on American Islamic Relations as a gun-toting Deputy Sheriff . When complaints poured in related to his political activities Israel replied, “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”
Relating to the shooting, Israel’s sheriff’s office previously made 23 calls to Cruz’s homes. Anonymous callers begged the department to look into his antics and threats of violence. These shout outs warned of his problems and his vows to shoot up his former school. Where are those follow up reports? Did the BSO confer with school officials? Did they follow up with county mental health professionals? Did they interview other students. Did they check his home for weapons? No, to all of the above. And reports that during the massacre, the deputy permanently assigned to the school and three other arriving officers remained outside cowering, while the shooter rampaged, shocked us all. A news report indicated that neighboring Coral Springs cops took over and secured the building after the BSO Keystone Kops appeared leaderless and helpless.
Let us here in NYC learn a few lessons from this sad tale. Let us not stand by timidly as our mayor turns the NYPD into a political cesspool. Let us have our recruits be the best without regard to sex, color or religion. Let us speak out to demand that New York’s Finest not be contaminated by politics. Their job is only to protect and defend the community, not to stand on soap boxes and smile for the cameras to shill for votes.