After the honor guard and the pipe and drum corps finished performing, after the recital of the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem, after the invocation and the official swearing-in had taken place, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel laid out his vision for the agency he was elected to lead.
“There will be change,’’ Israel said. “I think that’s important. We will be transparent. We will have a new vision, and we will be a diverse group of men and women.’’
Surrounded by his wife, Susan, and children Blair, Blake and Brett — 16-year-old triplets — Israel accepted the oath administered by Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes on Tuesday before several thousand BSO deputies, family and friends at the Faith Center in Sunrise.
After repeated standing ovations, Israel, a Democrat, approached the speaker’s podium. He broke the ice with a small joke, and thanked the supporters who helped him win November’s general election and defeat incumbent Al Lamberti, a Republican.
He thanked Broward Commissioners Barbara Sharief, Martin Kiar and Sue Gunzburger for their endorsements.
He spoke of regrouping with his family following the 2008 loss to Lamberti at the polls, and how his wife and children supported his decision to run again despite the grueling nature of the campaign.
“It took me four years longer to get here than I had hoped,’’ he said.
Sheriff is one of the most powerful elected posts in the county, overseeing about 5,500 employees and a $670 million annual budget.
A former Fort Lauderdale police captain and North Bay Village chief of police, Israel, 56, pledged to transform BSO.
He vowed to be inclusive, and the swearing-in ceremony included nods to Broward’s predominant political constituencies: Israel was sworn in by a black female judge; he joked with the mostly Democratic county commissioners in attendance to increase his annual budget; and a rabbi delivered the benediction.
“I am the sheriff of everyone,’’ Israel said, “and I will treat everyone with respect, including the men and women I work with on a daily basis.’’
During the ceremony, producers presented a slide show with photos of all the men who have been Broward’s sheriff since the agency was founded in 1915.
Of all the former sheriffs, including Bob Butterworth, who was in attendance, Nick Navarro and Ken Jenne received the loudest applause when their pictures appeared on the screen. Lamberti received only polite applause, and the closing picture of Israel was greeted with yet another standing ovation.
After the official swearing-in, Israel spelled out four priorities, which he said were presented in no particular order:
First, he said, “we must solve the Chris Reyka slaying, and we will,” referring to the 2007 murder of the BSO sergeant, who was shot to death outside a Pompano Beach drugstore. No arrests have been made in the murder.
Second, Israel said, “We need to bring a cultural change. … We must bring diversity to the entire agency. We must look like Broward County.’’
On this topic, Israel spoke the most.
He said cultural change meant reducing recidivism rates, and that success would be measured by the number of kids kept out of jails.
“I want to de-politicize BSO,’’ Israel said. “I don’t want you to worry about me getting reelected.’’