FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - I got a good reminder Wednesday morning about the power of social media. Just to create a little buzz, I said on my Facebook page that I was thinking about retirement after 34 years at the Broward Sheriff's Office.
"Thinking about retirement this Wednesday morning. After all, 34 years is a long time to work for the same agency."
Well, the reaction was fast, and in some cases, furious!
It was gratifying to see so many expressions of support and I felt I had to set the record straight right away.
I never had any intention of retiring and I apologized to those supporters who felt disappointed or dismayed by my offhand pronouncement. Again, the Broward Sheriff's Office has been my home for 34 years. Retiring would be like running away from home.
I have loved the Broward Sheriff's Office for more than three decades and I enjoy being Sheriff of Broward County, despite all the issues and concerns that I have to deal with every day.
These past few years have been a challenge for most Americans, including those of us in public service.
In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, as Broward County grew and thrived, the Broward Sheriff's Office kept pace, becoming a little larger, with a little larger budget, every year.
Under my leadership, I found it necessary to scale back our workforce by about 600 employees and we haven't been able to compensate most of the dedicated employees who continue to serve as much as they deserve. We are all working smarter and harder, doing more with less.
So, I'm not ready to retire. There is still too much to do and so much more that I hope to accomplish.
Again, to my Facebook friends, I am sorry if I caught you off-guard, but I feel very blessed to know that I have so much friendship and support out there on the worldwide web.