Sheriff Israel: Parkland's Barney Fife

The photo car says it all about Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel: his self-serving vanity, his shallow and blatant political ambitions, and his insensitive self-absorption visible in the wake of the Parkland school shooting that left 17 dead.  Police cars are for patrolling the community, not for the political self-promotion perpetrated by Sheriff Israel in 2015:

A Broward County sheriff's spokeswoman confirmed vehicle wraps featuring a large image of Sheriff Scott Israel, which cost taxpayers $12,500 in total to cover five Ford Focus vehicles, have been removed.

The move came days after a Local 10 News report on the cars in which one of Israel's opponents, retired Broward Sheriff's Office Sgt. Willie Jones, condemned them as a campaign ploy financed by the public[.] ...

Broward Collision was paid $2,500 per car for wrapping the vehicles.  Elections office records show that just days before the work had begun Israel accepted $2,000 in campaign contributions tied to Broward Collision, including $1,000 from the business and another $1,000 in the name of a relative of owner Keith Petron.   

It was the same kind of bloviating vanity that led Sheriff Israel to appear on CNN's gun control town hall, in the full knowledge that his deputies showed cowardice by not entering the Parkland high school, where an armed killer would eventually leave 17 dead.  He blamed the NRA and browbeat NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch for pointing out that gun ownership is a constitutional right and that it was law enforcement and not the NRA that failed to heed the scores of warning signs about what was to happen:

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, a big fan of gun control, sensed an opportunity to pile on and deflect a little attention from his own agency's failings.  After survivor and student organizer Emma Gonzalez confronted Loesch with a nonsensical question about making it harder to obtain automatic weapons and Loesch shut it down, Israel stepped in:

"I understand you're standing up for the NRA and I understand that's what you're supposed to do.  But you just told this group of people that you're standing up for them, you're not standing up for them until you say I want less weapons."

Unfortunately, Sheriff Israel never understood what he was supposed to do, which was to show the leadership necessary to protect his citizens – and particularly their children – from armed predators.  Instead of doing his job or finding out what went wrong at Parkland, he pointed fingers at everyone but himself, taking the time to bask in the light of a CNN town hall, soaking up the free publicity for his ego as the citizens he failed were burying their dead children.  He repeatedly dodged rather than accepted his responsibility and culpability for the Parkland massacre:

"I gave him a gun.  I gave him a badge.  I gave him the training.  If he didn't have the heart to go in, that's not my responsibility."  So says Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, a man atop a corrupted institution which failed its citizens in not just one moment, but instance after instance where the laws and policies put in place by the representatives of the people should have been more than sufficient to stop the massacre of February 14th[.] ... [W]e already know enough to argue this is not one failure by a school guard who'd earned enough time for retirement, but that it included at least three more Broward deputies, who were hiding behind their cars outside the school when neighboring Coral Springs police arrived.  That Israel is so vociferous in his blame for others – for the NRA on CNN's town hall, for the school guard as a lone actor, for others in his organization for failing to handle repeated reports of the shooter's red flags – is an indication of how much he wants these questions to go away.

When Israel was previously accused of corruption, he responded with a paraphrased quote from Game of Thrones: "Lions don't care about the opinions of sheep."

Sheriff Israel is a cowardly lion, the coward of the county, the coward of Broward.  One only wishes his heart were as big as his ego.  He made that remark about lions and sheep two years ago in response to charges of corruption in his office:

Two years ago, the Sun Sentinel reported that Israel was rewarding top political supporters by giving them and their family members cushy jobs doing public relations and community outreach for the Broward County Sheriff's Office.  One such position, outreach manager, paid out a salary of $78,489.  The person who got that job was the husband of Israel's campaign manager.

Sheriff Israel is an ambitious but incompetent political hack.  He has repeatedly spouted cartoonish drivel, such as the bizarre answer he gave to CNN's Jake Tapper last Sunday:

The moment on CNN's State of the Union when all of America realized that the Sheriff's Department of Broward County, Fla., had been run by a lunatic since 2012:

TAPPER:  The last question, sir.  Do you think that if the Broward Sheriff's Office had done things differently, this shooting might not have happened?

ISRAEL:  Listen, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books.

TAPPER:  I don't know what that means.  There's 17 dead people, and there's a whole long list of things your department could have been done differently.

For the record, Sheriff Israel, O.J. Simpson is still in the record books.  Unfortunately, Sheriff Israel is still sheriff.  If Sheriff Israel has any decency, he should resign.  He is Parkland's Barney Fife, except for the fact that the iconic TV sheriff was at least honest and not a corrupt hack.

Government has one prime function, and that is to protect its citizens from enemies both foreign and domestic.  That is what law enforcement is supposed to do, from the local police, who went to the killer's home multiple times before the shooting, to the FBI, which was too busy looking for phantom Russians to heed or care about the cries for help from Parkland.

The fault, dear sheriff, lies not in the NRA or our stars, but in yourself and others like you, who take their salaries from the taxpayers and use taxpayer dollars – not to protect them, but to put your picture on the cars they paid for.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

The photo car says it all about Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel: his self-serving vanity, his shallow and blatant political ambitions, and his insensitive self-absorption visible in the wake of the Parkland school shooting that left 17 dead.  Police cars are for patrolling the community, not for the political self-promotion perpetrated by Sheriff Israel in 2015:

A Broward County sheriff's spokeswoman confirmed vehicle wraps featuring a large image of Sheriff Scott Israel, which cost taxpayers $12,500 in total to cover five Ford Focus vehicles, have been removed.

The move came days after a Local 10 News report on the cars in which one of Israel's opponents, retired Broward Sheriff's Office Sgt. Willie Jones, condemned them as a campaign ploy financed by the public[.] ...

Broward Collision was paid $2,500 per car for wrapping the vehicles.  Elections office records show that just days before the work had begun Israel accepted $2,000 in campaign contributions tied to Broward Collision, including $1,000 from the business and another $1,000 in the name of a relative of owner Keith Petron.   

It was the same kind of bloviating vanity that led Sheriff Israel to appear on CNN's gun control town hall, in the full knowledge that his deputies showed cowardice by not entering the Parkland high school, where an armed killer would eventually leave 17 dead.  He blamed the NRA and browbeat NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch for pointing out that gun ownership is a constitutional right and that it was law enforcement and not the NRA that failed to heed the scores of warning signs about what was to happen:

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, a big fan of gun control, sensed an opportunity to pile on and deflect a little attention from his own agency's failings.  After survivor and student organizer Emma Gonzalez confronted Loesch with a nonsensical question about making it harder to obtain automatic weapons and Loesch shut it down, Israel stepped in:

"I understand you're standing up for the NRA and I understand that's what you're supposed to do.  But you just told this group of people that you're standing up for them, you're not standing up for them until you say I want less weapons."

Unfortunately, Sheriff Israel never understood what he was supposed to do, which was to show the leadership necessary to protect his citizens – and particularly their children – from armed predators.  Instead of doing his job or finding out what went wrong at Parkland, he pointed fingers at everyone but himself, taking the time to bask in the light of a CNN town hall, soaking up the free publicity for his ego as the citizens he failed were burying their dead children.  He repeatedly dodged rather than accepted his responsibility and culpability for the Parkland massacre:

"I gave him a gun.  I gave him a badge.  I gave him the training.  If he didn't have the heart to go in, that's not my responsibility."  So says Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, a man atop a corrupted institution which failed its citizens in not just one moment, but instance after instance where the laws and policies put in place by the representatives of the people should have been more than sufficient to stop the massacre of February 14th[.] ... [W]e already know enough to argue this is not one failure by a school guard who'd earned enough time for retirement, but that it included at least three more Broward deputies, who were hiding behind their cars outside the school when neighboring Coral Springs police arrived.  That Israel is so vociferous in his blame for others – for the NRA on CNN's town hall, for the school guard as a lone actor, for others in his organization for failing to handle repeated reports of the shooter's red flags – is an indication of how much he wants these questions to go away.

When Israel was previously accused of corruption, he responded with a paraphrased quote from Game of Thrones: "Lions don't care about the opinions of sheep."

Sheriff Israel is a cowardly lion, the coward of the county, the coward of Broward.  One only wishes his heart were as big as his ego.  He made that remark about lions and sheep two years ago in response to charges of corruption in his office:

Two years ago, the Sun Sentinel reported that Israel was rewarding top political supporters by giving them and their family members cushy jobs doing public relations and community outreach for the Broward County Sheriff's Office.  One such position, outreach manager, paid out a salary of $78,489.  The person who got that job was the husband of Israel's campaign manager.

Sheriff Israel is an ambitious but incompetent political hack.  He has repeatedly spouted cartoonish drivel, such as the bizarre answer he gave to CNN's Jake Tapper last Sunday:

The moment on CNN's State of the Union when all of America realized that the Sheriff's Department of Broward County, Fla., had been run by a lunatic since 2012:

TAPPER:  The last question, sir.  Do you think that if the Broward Sheriff's Office had done things differently, this shooting might not have happened?

ISRAEL:  Listen, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books.

TAPPER:  I don't know what that means.  There's 17 dead people, and there's a whole long list of things your department could have been done differently.

For the record, Sheriff Israel, O.J. Simpson is still in the record books.  Unfortunately, Sheriff Israel is still sheriff.  If Sheriff Israel has any decency, he should resign.  He is Parkland's Barney Fife, except for the fact that the iconic TV sheriff was at least honest and not a corrupt hack.

Government has one prime function, and that is to protect its citizens from enemies both foreign and domestic.  That is what law enforcement is supposed to do, from the local police, who went to the killer's home multiple times before the shooting, to the FBI, which was too busy looking for phantom Russians to heed or care about the cries for help from Parkland.

The fault, dear sheriff, lies not in the NRA or our stars, but in yourself and others like you, who take their salaries from the taxpayers and use taxpayer dollars – not to protect them, but to put your picture on the cars they paid for.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.