“No I don’t. I will depoliticize the office. . . . I am the sheriff for every single person in Broward County, black, white, gay, straight, Democrat, Republican.”
Q. Will you make endorsements in political races such as for the state Legislature or governor?
“I can’t say that. There are a lot of people who supported me and endorsed me and did some things for me. It depends on the election — who is running.”
Q. Will the average resident notice any difference with the change in sheriffs?
“Better customer service because [staff] morale is going to be uplifted. . . . When I say customer service, our people will understand our goal will be to reduce crime and enhance quality of life. We will be present at homeowner association meetings. A lot of times during the campaign, I went to homeowners’ associations and I would see captains and commanders. That is great. What I want to see is the deputy who works that area, that shift, they need to be there, they need be involved, they need to hear the complaints or positives.”
Q. In light of Trayvon Martin [the teenager fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer] and Sandy Hook [the elementary-school massacre in Connecticut], gun control issues are going to be hot topics for the upcoming Congress and state legislative session. Do you plan to advocate for any changes to “Stand Your Ground”? Do you favor a national assault weapons ban?
“I do favor a national assault weapons ban. I don’t believe Trayvon Martin was killed over Stand your Ground. From what I read, I feel he was shot that night because he was black — not because of Stand Your Ground. I will leave Stand your Ground to the litigators and lawmakers on both sides. . . . I want to keep kids alive and in school and do whatever I can to support the assault weapons ban that may allow our kids to live.”
Q. After winning the election, you called for Broward County to audit BSO. Do you have any specific budget concerns you want the audit to address?
“No, I just think it is a prudent thing to do. You want to make sure everything is right. You want to look behind all the furniture and all the nooks and crannies and just make sure.”
Q. There has been a lot of chatter about last-minute hires and promotions at BSO. Are you planning to reverse any of those?
“I’m not planning to, but I will certainly strongly consider it. I think it was an egregious error on the sheriff’s part. I’m coming in, he doesn’t know who I want to hire, who I want to bring in, what salaries . . . We sent letters through the transition team asking them not to do that.”
Q. Lamberti did a lot of community programs such as shred-a-thons and prescription drug buy backs, which were popular with residents but sometimes criticized as free publicity for the sheriff during campaign season. Will you be continuing them?
“I will evaluate them. If they are popular with residents and worthwhile, yes, I will continue those programs. If we are doing something that is all about self-promotion and nothing else, I will discontinue it immediately.”
Q. There have been some battles in Broward about whether certain cities should be taken over by BSO, including a recent example — Wilton Manors. Are you going to pursue BSO taking over the police departments in any cities? How will you decide whether to pursue any takeovers?