Broward County

BSO defends captain who took charge of Parkland shooting scene

Capt. Jan Jordan.
Capt. Jan Jordan. Broward Sheriff’s Office

The Broward Sheriff’s Office is defending the captain who ordered deputies to set up a perimeter around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as law enforcement officers responded to the scene of a deadly mass shooting.

On a website called BSO Fact Check, the agency wrote that Capt. Jan Jordan handled the situation in accordance with training.

“The shooting had stopped,” the website states. “A perimeter is a secondary task that would be appropriate to apprehend the suspect, stop him from entering the neighboring middle school and prevent non-first responders (responding parents) from coming on the school property while it was on lockdown.”

Four BSO deputies did not immediately enter the building where Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 students and staff on Feb. 14. Coral Springs police officers were the first to go in, but Cruz had already fled, according to reports and Miami Herald sources.

A partial dispatch log obtained by the Miami Herald last week showed that Jordan, BSO’s Parkland district commander, gave the order to form a perimeter while some deputies thought the shooting was still going on.

“Everyone should have gone in,” said a law enforcement source familiar with the agency’s response. “Every single person believed the shooter was in the building.”

BSO’s response suggests Jordan, a veteran Fort Lauderdale police officer who applied to the agency on Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s recommendation, may have had more information than officers on the ground. A spokeswoman for the agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jordan’s personnel file with Fort Lauderdale police, where she retired in 2009 after 20 years of service, shows she earned consistently high evaluations from her superiors. Between leaving Fort Lauderdale and joining BSO, she worked briefly as a ticket agent for JetBlue Airlines in Denver, a police sergeant for the town of Breckenridge, Colorado, an accreditation coordinator for Wilton Manors Police Department and an investigator for the Broward County Public Defender.

She was hired by BSO in 2013, after Israel’s election, and was appointed to command the Parkland district in 2017 after leading BSO’s civil division.

BSO’s fact-check website also addressed other information it said was not accurate, including reports that BSO deputies were ordered not to go into Stoneman Douglas without their body cameras turned on and claims that the agency has not conducted active-shooter training since 2006.

Israel has so far refused to release surveillance video that could shed light on how BSO responded, leading several news organizations, including the Miami Herald, to sue.

Nicholas Nehamas: 305-376-3745, @NickNehamas