Broward County's new Sheriff Gregory Tony pledged to restore confidence in deputies who were criticized for their response to last year’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Valentine’s day shooting. Just after a month on the job, Sheriff Tony announced his intention to run for office in 2020.
Tony was appointed by Governor DeSantis after he suspended Sheriff Scott Israel. During a meeting with media on Thursday, the new sheriff highlighted that his primary goal is to upgrade active-shooter training.
“There are deficiencies in training that we’re trying to fix,” Tony said. “Coral Springs and Parkland didn’t think it could happen, just as Columbine and Sandy Hook didn’t think it could happen, but it continues to happen. Be prepared so you don’t have to get prepared.”
Time will tell, right? It’s important to reserve judgment until there’s a track record to review. However, the first impression to me is exactly what I’d want to see, a clearly defined leadership style. I feel a sense of urgency, by the way, we’re still waiting to see from the School District. This first impression also showed me an emphasis on field/active shooter training and discipline. Lastly, I see commitment evidenced by the willingness to leave his family business to do this.
Successful leaders may have different styles but there’s always a common denominator. I’ve never known a successful leader who didn’t command respect. I can’t speak for the officers at BSO but it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t be inclined to view Sheriff Tony through a different prism than Israel. Especially given his background in law enforcement and upbringing in a challenged inner-city environment that he persevered through. He’s walked the talk.