A union of deputies in Florida on Thursday announced it has “no confidence” in Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association said a symbolic vote among its members, initiated last week, indicated 534 of 628 officers in the union voted they had no confidence in the sheriff.
The association, a chapter of the International Union of Police Associations, cited the national criticism surrounding Israel and his office following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.
Israel, in response to the announcement of a vote, said union boss Jeff Bell was trying “to use the Parkland tragedy as a bargaining tactic to extort a 6.5 percent raise” from the sheriff’s office, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Bell told the newspaper that “amazing leadership starts from the top, and there is no amazing leadership here,” adding that members of the union “have displayed great courage to come out and vote under threat of retaliation and reprisal from the sheriff.”
Bell said the association’s next step is to present the vote to Florida Gov. Rick Scott — who rejected calls from some state legislators to suspend Israel after the shooting — and to ask him to “please make change and replace the sheriff with somebody who is capable of amazing leadership.”