FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Newly appointed Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said he’s hit the ground running and doesn’t plan to slow down.
Tony, Broward County’s first black sheriff, spoke to the media on Thursday, nearly a month after he was selected by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to replace suspended former Sheriff Scott Israel on Jan. 11.
Before being appointed, Tony had worked at Blue Spear Solutions, a Greenville, S.C. active shooter and mass casualty training firm, until Feb. 14, 2018.
“Stoneman Douglas happened, and it hit home,” Tony said. “These are my friends. These are the officers that I trained and worked with.”
Tony began his career with the Coral Springs Police Department in 2005, where he served on the SWAT team and became a sergeant.
He left in 2016 to focus on his security firm.
Tony said hard work and a love for community brought him back.
“There was zero expectation to be placed in this position,” Tony said. “But I think as it got closer to where the governor was gonna make a decision to remove the previous administration, it came up, and I basically had about a week’s notice.”
Tony said it has been a hectic month since he assumed his duties, which sometimes led to him working 18-hour days.
“This is an opportunity to get it right and start to build back the confidence from the community in terms of how they view this organization, and it’s only gonna inspire me to keep working harder,” he said.
Tony said he will create 25 more training positions to train over 2,800 deputies every year, so “there’s no ambiguity when it’s time to act.”
“My philosophy is, ‘Be prepared so that you don’t have to get prepared,'” he said.
Better training, creating a training facility and fixing the antiquated radio communications system are some of the items Tony has started tackling.
“It’s my job, and we’re all here now to take this organization into that particular vision that I see, that the community expects,” he said, “so to the critics, I have zero time to entertain them. There’s too much to do.”
Tony was very clear there is a lot to do, and he’s happy to do it.
He also said he will be running in 2020 because there are so many things he’s putting in place and wants to see them through.
“I will be running. I will run as a Democrat,” he said.
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