For decades, the LGBT community of South Florida has had a contentious relationship with the Broward County Sheriff.

Four years into his first term as sheriff, Scott Israel has demonstrated an extraordinary level of commitment to the LGBT citizens. For too long a time, we were apart from the community, rather than a part of it.

Sheriff Israel has enthusiastically embraced who we are. He has participated in our festivals, spoken at our rallies, and marched in our parades. The Sheriff has been supportive of diversity in every way, even running recruitment ads here on the pages of SFGN.

The management team of BSO is populated with gay men and gay women, at all levels, from deputies on the beat, to lawyers in our courts, and an increasing cross section of Hispanic, Asian and African-American personnel. It is outreach at its best.

Beyond that, the sheriff has engaged community policing, expanded juvenile interdiction programs, and represented himself as a personable and populist voice for law enforcement.

Like other administrators, he wants more money for his agency, which translates to seeking more funds to protect the public. Still, if these allocations are used for body cams and to control gun violence, they will have been worthy expenditures. 

Most importantly, with over 6,000 employees and a budget of over $700 million, the sheriff must employ professionals more interested in policy and protecting the public than politics. This he has been able to do, and this he must continue to strive for.

Sheriff Israel has done more than look for more weapons to win the war on crime. He has sought out programs, innovations, and modern techniques to change and alter the culture of law enforcement. That is no easy task.

Every sheriff has been criticized for politicizing the office. Sheriff Israel is no different. It is up to him to ensure and maintain unimpeachable integrity. Law enforcement can’t be for sale. Favors have no place in an agency where fairness must rule.

SFGN is satisfied that Sheriff Israel has created an environment of inclusion for all. He has created a department administering justice fairly, and insisting upon professionalism at every level. He has conducted himself with dignity and respect, and deserves your vote for his re-election.