Al Lamberti has led the Broward Sheriff’s Office with a steady hand during a challenging time of budget cuts and increased demand for his agency’s services. The sad fact that Broward has been the go-to county in the southeast United States for painkillers doled out by the thousands at “pill mills” has only added to the burden.
Sheriff Lamberti, 58, rose through the ranks of the BSO and was appointed its leader in 2007 by then-Gov. Crist, re-elected in 2008.
The 5,800-employee agency has, like most government agencies, been buffeted by cold economic winds. Since Mr. Lamberti assumed the top spot, the BSO has lost almost 600 positions through layoffs and attrition — though the sheriff can boast that no sworn deputies were among the positions lost.
This is the second time that Sheriff Lamberti has faced Scott Israel, 56, who lost to the incumbent in 2008. Mr. Israel was chief of the North Bay Village Police Department from 2004 until 2008. He spent many years with the Fort Lauderdale Police, retiring as a captain and SWAT commander. He wants to enhance both crime-prevention programs and diversity among the upper ranks.
Mr. Lamberti has made laudable strides in both areas. He has promoted several African Americans, Hispanics and women into his inner circle. And he has gotten creative when some crime prevention programs have taken a hit because of budget cuts. For instance, he has used money from the state Law Enforcement Trust Fund to help the Urban League provide services to the Boys & Girls Club.
As for the pill mills, Sheriff Lamberti was a major advocate for the state to establish a database to track prescriptions; physicians now can only dole out a three-day supply of painkillers — not six months’ worth — and they cannot accept out-of-state identification..
For Broward County Sheriff, The Herald recommends AL LAMBERTI.