Q&A – Requirements To Run For Sheriff In Florida

Today’s entry - Curious, Israel said he was a SWAT commander....just because you're a SWAT commander doesn't mean you were SWAT trained. Would love to know the answer to that.

Bottom Line: With Florida’s Sheriff’s being elected officials (aside from Miami-Dade currently), I’ve recently been asked if anyone can run for sheriff and with your specific question about SWAT and Scott Israel’s background, I figured I’d address both. Here are the requirements for all sheriffs in Florida: 

  • Must be a US citizen
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have residency status in the county 
  • Need to be in a good physical and mental shape
  • Must have at least a GED or high school diploma
  • No felony convictions
  • Must complete the Police Academy

Those are the state minimums that apply to sheriffs in all counties in Florida. Beyond those requirements, counties may place additional requirements on candidates. Broward’s threshold is a little more restrictive. Broward requires candidates to be:

  • At least 19 years old
  • Unrestricted driver’s license
  • Drug screening
  • Successful completion of Broward’s Criminal Justice Training Center

It’s not possible for someone just off the street to become sheriff if they can win an election, anywhere in Florida. Now, Scott Israel’s background. Yes Israel, who started out in law enforcement in Fort Lauderdale in 1979, was a SWAT Commander prior to becoming Broward’s sheriff. The SWAT Commander is responsible for assembling a SWAT team, making the decision to deploy SWAT and complete control of the SWAT team during missions. According to the National Tactical Officers Association standards, which Broward adheres to, the standard for SWAT officers include SWAT team training, at a minimum, according to the following schedule; 40 hours basic SWAT course, 16 hours training per month, 8 hours additional for personnel with specialized skills identified as requiring additional training, and 40-hours annual in-service team training event. As for SWAT Commanders, they are expected to meet the minimum standards for SWAT eligibility. By that standard, at least theoretically, he would have been trained to SWAT standards. It’s worth noting that there aren’t any notable issues I could find stemming from his time as SWAT Commander. 

There are clearly valid concerns regarding Scott Israel’s leadership as Sheriff, however, he did have a long and distinguished law enforcement career prior to his time as Broward’s Sheriff.

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Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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Photo by: Getty Images



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