So, while the Broward County Sheriff’s office has suspended at least one officer for doing exactly as he was ordered, we are now seeing the flip side of the coin.
When a gunman started shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, two Miramar SWAT team members did what comes naturally: They went to help.
Now they’ve been suspended for it.
The officers did not have permission to respond to the shooting at Parkland on Feb. 14, when 17 people were killed.
And that created an officer safety issue and left them unaccountable for their actions, according to their police department.
According to the story, there are two parts. First, the BSO told Miramar that their SWAT team, which was put on standby at the first report of a school shooting, was not needed. This, sad to say, fits the perception that is building of the BSO as a lackadaisical department run by people interested in drawing a check rather than serving their community. The second part is apparently departments are discouraging officers from “riding to the sound of the guns,” for a valid reason. Often too many law enforcement officers show up and that creates command and control, logistics, and safety issues.
Having said that, this decision seems profoundly boneheaded from any point of view other than that of the most myopic bean-counter. The FBI failed…and nothing happened to those agents. The BSO failed…and nothing happened to the people that made that happen. These guys respond, even though they were off duty, and they get suspended. This is the kind of situation where you blister their asses in private over violating policy but shake their hand afterward.