BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Broward Sheriff-Elect Scott Israel is about to be at the helm of one of the largest law enforcement departments in the nation.
As Israel prepares to take over the post from longtime Sheriff Al Lamberti, he told Local 10's Bob Norman about the sweeping changes at the top of his agenda for the BSO.
So far, Israel has announced the creation of his own command staff and ended the employment of 28 high-ranking officers who served under Lamberti.
"I want to bring in my own team like every other leader," said Israel. "We went forward without 28. I don't know this (myself), but I've been told that's the lowest number that people can remember of any sheriff in recent history.
Israel said the entire transition has been frustrating. According to Israel, Lamberti said Israel was a security risk and has prevented him from entering BSO during the transitional period.
"The sheriff decided that I wouldn't be allowed into the building," said Israel. "I can't meet people. I can't talk to people. I can't walk in and ask for a document."
Israel said a recent press conference with Lamberti did little to ease tensions, especially after a recent media spat that began when Israel told a reporter that he hadn't been measured for a uniform.
"Do you have a uniform?" Norman asked Israel.
"I do. A reporter asked me during an interview if I had been measured for a uniform, and I replied, ‘No,'" Israel said. "It was insignificant, getting in the building was important. Everything else is way far down the road. There's been no cooperation transitionally because I can't get in the building."
The real change comes next week on January 8th, when Israel will be sworn in as the next sheriff of Broward County.
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