Routine but insane
Another Broward County Sheriff has killed yesterday in the line of duty. Chris Reyka was the first. From the Sun-Sentinel-
The Broward County Sheriff's Office has a less stringent policy for transporting prisoners than neighboring agencies, allowing a single detention deputy to drive as many as 56 inmates in a bus or up to 15 in a van within the county limits.It may be routine, but one deputy for up to fifty-six inmates is just crazy. Also take into consideration the Sheriff Rein's age, 76. Even a person in excellent health at that age, is being asked to do alot. More than common sense would dictate. The article went on to note that Palm Beach and Miami-Dade County always have a backup officer. Also there is fact, that eighty Florida law enforcement officials have been killed in the US transporting prisoners since 1996.
That policy came under scrutiny Wednesday after a lone, 76-year-old deputy was shot and killed while transporting an inmate from jail to court. Officials are also investigating why the deputy, Paul Rein, not only made an unscheduled stop in a parking lot while transporting the prisoner, but then helped his soon-to-be killer out of the van, according to a witness.
Contrary to Rein's actions, sheriff's policy requires deputies to "proceed directly to the official destination without intermediate steps." Michael Mazza, 40, a convicted robber who was already sentenced to life in prison, weighs 200 pounds and, according to the agency, had "nothing to lose" by trying to escape. He now faces a charge of first-degree murder.
Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said officials had recently considered requiring two deputies during transports after two other deputy shootings, but with large numbers of court transports each day, Lamberti said his office doesn't have the money for double staffing.
"We do 400 to 500 court transports a day. It's a routine thing," Lamberti said, adding of Wednesday's fatal events: "It shows, in this profession, nothing is routine."
Officer Rein paid with his life for an administrative shortcut. Its time for Broward's new Sheriff, Al Lamberti to change the policy of agency he now runs.
My condolences to Officer Rein's family.
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