Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County, Florida, has received a great deal of scrutiny in the aftermath of the Valentine’s Day school shooting, prompting Hillsdale County Sheriff Tim Parker to send an email to his staff.
“I am sure we were all sickened and dismayed when we heard the news regarding the Broward County Deputy who was on scene at the Florida school shooting and stayed outside as the shooting rampage occurred,” Parker wrote on Feb. 26. “I want to be clear on my expectations. If we arrive on a similar scene our job is to go in without delay, locate, and neutralize the active shooter. I will either go in first, by your side or on your six depending on our arrival times. Regardless, I will be going IN!”
The Broward County deputy who was on the scene, Scot Peterson, quickly resigned after a video showed him waiting outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for four minutes while the shooting occurred. Israel publicly denounced Peterson’s actions, while Peterson’s lawyer said he had followed the protocol for what he had believed was an outdoor shooting, according to USA Today.
Records obtained by CNN showed the Broward County Sheriff’s Office received 45 calls related to the shooter or his brother between 2008 and 2017, while the sheriff’s office maintains it only received 23 calls.
In one of the instances, a neighbor warned the sheriff’s office about an Instagram post that said the student “planned to shoot up the school,” according to CNN. Another time, a caller from Massachusetts warned that Cruz was collecting guns and knives and “could be a school shooter in the making.”
Parker told his staff members this is not the time to question whether or not they have chosen the right job as law enforcement officers.
“There are many ways people can help other people in this world, but if they are not up to the demands of the moment they need to find other ways to make a difference and leave Law Enforcement NOW!” he wrote.
Parker emphasized that law enforcement’s job is not getting any easier and that his staff should be willing to stand up to any threat.
“We stand on that thin blue line together and face those threats head-on,” Parker wrote. “In these moments, we must not only be the best trained and best equipped, but unwavering in our willingness to face any threat. Keep our community Safe, be Vigilant and be Ready to Act. I stand with you.”