Broward Sheriff Continues Defending Leadership: No One Else in This County Can Keep the People Safer


Embattled Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel continued to defend his leadership in an interview airing Monday, telling NBC News no one in his county could keep the people there safer than him.

"I don't think there's a man or woman in this county who can keep Broward County safer than I can," Israel said. "I'm proud to be the Sheriff, and I plan to continue on being the Sheriff."

Israel and his deputies have come under fire since revelations that it received dozens of calls concerning Stoneman Douglas High School killer Nikolas Cruz, including tips that he was a potential school shooter.

Israel told NBC News the initial indications are the tips were not properly followed up on but that the matter still needs to be investigated.

In addition, one of his deputies, Scot Peterson, has been forced into retirement after tapes showed he didn't enter the school as the massacre was unfolding. NBC reported six more people were killed while Peterson was in a defensive position outside the school.

The Broward office disputes reports there were three other deputies there who also failed to go inside and possibly save lives.

"I'm not going to tell you that other Broward Sheriff's deputies didn't go in when they should have, but I'm not going to say the opposite either," Israel said. "We are going to investigate. We are going to do it thoroughly."

Republican lawmakers across Florida have called on Israel, an elected Democrat, to resign. He said Sunday on CNN he would not step down and that he had given the department "amazing leadership."

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