Lessons Learned from the Broward County Florida High School Shooting
By a Marine Corps veteran/former Law Enforcement Officer
In response to the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I would like to extend my condolences and prayers to the families and friends of all the victims.
In wake of all the recent evidence and allegations that are now coming to light on the performance and conduct of the Broward County Sheriff Department, this horrific event not only could have been stopped, but avoided.
One sheriff’s deputy has already resigned under the allegations of dereliction of duty and others are under investigation. In my opinion, this is not only gross dereliction of duty but an act of cowardice for which he should be held criminally and civilly liable. It should be noted that standard operating procedure for most police departments is no longer to set up a perimeter. The first two officers on scene enter and neutralize the shooter.
Contrary to the behavior and actions of the first deputies on the scene, I would like to personally thank and commend Sgt. Jeff Heinrich of the Coral Springs Police Department who was off duty at the time and unarmed. His actions, using a borrowed vest and pistol, were above and beyond the call of duty. He ran to the sound of gunfire and entered the school to help the other officers in his department with their response. His actions are exemplary and are an outstanding example of a true Oath Keeper.
The FBI has admitted, and is now conducting, an internal investigation on the breakdown of their procedures as to the information they received months prior to this incident involving the shooter, Nikolas Cruz. The procedures were grossly mishandled, resulting in his being able to purchase the weapon he used in this shooting. If these complaints had been handled properly, Nikolas Cruz, by his own actions, would have been reported to NCIC. He would not have been able to purchase any firearm which is how the law is intended to work!
This is overwhelming evidence that the laws on the books concerning gun control are not being enforced! This horrible incident, along with many others that have occurred in the past, are proof that if the federal and state agencies responsible for enforcing our current gun laws actually did their jobs, these incidents would have been prevented!
New allegations are coming to light that the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and the Broward County School Board actually came to an agreement to hide and do away with juvenile arrest statistics in order to secure federal funding for both of their agencies.
If these allegations are proved to be true, then the Sheriff and the School Board are guilty of trading financial gain for the safety of our children. They should both be removed from office and immediately charged as accessories to the murder of seventeen innocent children because they manipulated the very system put in place to protect them.
As a former law enforcement officer whose last serving post was in the state of Florida, I do not condemn nor make allegations against fellow officers lightly. I do however, believe we are not above law and have been entrusted with a duty not to be taken lightly. When one of our own neglects the Oath of Office which was given before God as one of the most sacred oaths and honors to be deemed upon a man or woman, and breaks the law or demonstrates the inability to carry out the responsibilities that he is been given, he should be removed.
Governor Scott of Florida has called for the head of the FBI to step down for the failures of his agency. He is now calling for the Broward County Sheriff and the head of the Broward County School Board to follow suit. The citizens of Florida need to stand with your Governor and demand the same.
We, as Oath Keepers, must not sit idly by and allow these indiscretions to be perpetrated by our government. As veterans and fellow law enforcement professionals, we also must remember that we took the same sacred oath before God to defend the Constitution of the United States America. It is our obligation to insure that we live up to that oath; for in the end we will be judged by God and our fellow citizens on our actions.
Billy Simmons, Vice President
Oath Keepers National Board of Directors
National Law Enforcement Liason
Louisiana State Coordinator
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