Dereliction of Duty

Fraught words those, carrying a message of not doing your prescribed part, often of shameful cowardice, of wanton exposure of others to injury and death. They are the only appropriate words for Sheriff Israel, Deputy Scot Peterson, and no less than four more deputies of the Broward County Sheriff’s office. These things are fiendishly difficult for those of us who support law enforcement to write, and it is hellishly important that we do. I think Mark America did the best job I have read, and better than I could as well. Here is some:

People are shrieking that the School Resource Officer, 33=year veteran of the Sheriffs Office, Deputy Scot Peterson, should be charged.  After all, during the period he stood holding his gun outside the building while the shooting continued inside, it is likely that most of the deaths occurred.  He was there in perhaps less than one minute after the shooting commenced, but never entered.  Modern(post Columbine) active shooter doctrine directs officers to enter the premises immediately, backup or not, body armor or not, and to engage the shooter or shooters as quickly as possible because it is opposition that almost always stops these killers, either by being killed, or by killing themselves.  Deputy Peterson, apparently milking the taxpayer in his last years before retirement, obviously wasn’t interested in putting himself or his pension at risk to save school kids and teachers about which he seems not to have been even slightly concerned.

Friday’s revelation only makes it worse, as it appears at least three more Broward deputies arrived soon after, while the shooting was still in progress, and together with Peterson, none of them attempted entry into the building.  The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was able to walk out unscathed and unchallenged.

I know there are plenty of fine officers, including the heroes from Coral Springs, who arrived and entered immediately as all current active-shooter doctrines demand, and this is not a general impeachment of all law enforcement, but it is an impeachment of Sheriff Israel’s leadership, or more properly, the lack thereof.  To have a department responsible for such a populous jurisdiction, but unwilling even to enter into lethal combat with an active shooter speaks volumes about how little worth Sheriff Israel has brought to his community, unless you value political patronage campaigns, in which he apparently enjoyed great success.

This is sickening.  It’s bad enough that the FBI had every opportunity to have prevented this tragedy.  It’s bad enough that over the last few years, Nikolas Cruz had repeated encounters with the police and with the school, but he was permitted to go on until this disaster. None of it is excusable in any respect, but what is simply intolerable, and what must not be accepted, is a pattern of malingering and dereliction on the part of multiple officers, suggesting a mindset that is part of the corporate culture of Sheriff Israel’s department.  This sort of thing is always the result of poor leadership.  It’s always the result of bad management and a tendency in government to keep the ineffectual around long after they should have been terminated.  Instead, they’re permitted to linger on the tax-payer’s back, squandering a payroll that could have been spent on more effective public servants.

It’s time for Sheriff Israel to resign.  It would have been bad enough to simply know the truth of this, but that it took Scott Israel more than a week to disclose this information suggests he had been hoping to cover it up or justify it so as to reduce the public relations black-eye he almost certainly will now be called upon to endure. Sheriff Israel should be ashamed, as he seemed to be when first detailing the inaction of Deputy Peterson on Thursday, but now, it has become quite evident that this shame is more thoroughly institutional within his department, and it’s time for Israel to acknowledge his shame by resigning from his office. Platitudes about “taking responsibility” will no longer suffice.  Sheriff Israel must go, just as FBI director Christopher Wray must go in the wake of the FBI’s disastrous contribution to this catastrophe.

People have asked me if the officers could be charged.  I am not entirely familiar with Florida statutes, but I do know that in a number of broadly applicable court rulings, officers have no affirmative duty to protect anybody. For that reason alone, I doubt that any of the malingerers who were derelict in the performance of their duties will face any legal ramifications. Yes, they might lose their jobs, but that says nothing of actual criminal or civil liability.

Do read it all, and yes, I agree with every single word.

This is the end result of corruption, of putting oneself ahead of one’s mission. It has become endemic in our city police forces. In truth, I don’t really blame most of the officers, why should they hang their butts out there when their leadership will never back them up. Going fetal they call it, and if you’re caught between those who want you dead, and led by those who don’t give a damn about you – well it strikes me as reasonable. Not ideal, but I understand, and jobs aren’t always that easy to find.

Sheriff Israel is corrupt, and unfit to wear his star and gun. He should resign, or he should be removed. Period. Full Stop.

There’s probably prosecutable corruption there if one cared to look, but this incident probably isn’t. The case that the police have a duty to protect is weak to nonexistent. That duty resides in the family, really. In this case, it is delegated to the school district acting for the parents. It’s pretty obvious they failed as well, but it’s possible that they didn’t know that until this happened. They should have, but things get overlooked.

I said above that this is corruption, which it is. It is also what a culture of corruption looks like. It is pretty much what you can expect when your local leaders are more concerned with politics than their jobs. Nothing about party there, by the way. What it really is about is integrity, which has become a dirty word in our society.

Advertisements

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

14 Responses to Dereliction of Duty

  1. There were two Cops that did enter directly after they arrived, both military Vet’s btw. One was a former Marine, the other cop’s wife worked at the school, and came as fast as he could! I can only assume they did NOT know where these other four officers were? But indeed where I come from, mentally & morally, these four acted with cowardice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yes, the city cops went right in. Very good men. Didn’t know they were vets, nor am I surprised.

      Only word that fits, give them a damned white feather and let them look on their work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    I read Mark’s article several days ago. I had a questioning thought then about Peterson. 33 years of service as Broward sheriff’s deputy? As a State of Florida Retiree System recipient, not law enforcement, I know a little bit about it. General state employment in any capacity requires 30 years before full retirement although one can retire earlier with a reduced amount. It’s 25 years for law enforcement. Perhaps county retirement programs are not the same though. And of course one is not required to retire at 30 or 25.
    My point though is this. In state job career one can retire with 30 years with full retirement benefits and after a period of time be rehired in the same job, without career status nor further contribution to benefits, and receive remuneration.
    It would just be of interest to me to know if that may be the situation in Peterson’s case. Perhaps staying on the payroll for some political reward.
    Sheriff Israel has been questioned on political corruption in hiring supporters before where he has responded with the following comments: “What have I done differently than Don Shula or Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Gandhi?” and “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”
    Criticize Trump’s ego? I guess when you got a sheriff who self-expresses “amazing leadership.”
    P.S. When I say I know a little bit, it’s from the way it was 20 years ago when I took early retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      I surely don’t know, but it’s an interesting thought. We used to call it double dipping, I knew a guy, retired from the AF as a LTC, retired from the post office after 20, and worked long enough to get Social security. Was it planned that way? That I don’t know, but he did have a nice retirement package. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • the unit says:

        i thought everybody knew somebody like the guy you knew. I did too. My best Navy friend. 🙂
        Then again, later in life my next best buddy had retired at 20 after being a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He suffered from PTSD and bought and operated a stump grinder for added income, finally completely retiring, now deceased.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I think many do! 🙂

          Yep, I knew quite a few like that helo driver, some of them worked for Patton for a while, some dislike Iwo, places I wouldn’t want to go. They managed, mostly, some bad dreams, but good friends and families seemed to help. Mostly gone now, of course.

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          I think my friend ground out his frustrations with the stump grinder, so to speak. And frustrated he was at those, particularly politicians, not acting in accordance with their oath pertaining to our Constitution!

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Not unusual, my dad split wood, for that reason sometimes, and I do various things, bet you do too. Yep, tends to be a pet peeve of our generation, and we get an awful amount of practice. bet he could see some faces in those stumps! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Faces. Yep, we both were among those who thought even Mickey Mouse could win in ’12. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep. But you know, maybe it worked out for the best! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Stopped Dereliction of Voter Duty for at least one election cycle and Hillary out of office. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          And she’ll never be President! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          She can replace Justice Ginsburg at the appropriate time though. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Indeed! 🙂

          Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.