Sheriff Mike Scott, who has run the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for the past 14 years, has banned on-duty Sheriff’s Office employees and visitors from wearing face or body masks in public. He claims that the masks hinder or block the detection of key biometric elements used by security personnel.
The policy comes into effect on June 10, but according to the Miami Herald, the sheriff’s department received concerned requests months ago from SWAT personnel and other investigators about the masks being used in the field to shield their identities.
Sheriff Scott explained that the use of these masks, including masks worn by law enforcement officials, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Service, put officers, and civilians, at a greater risk of becoming victims of violent crime, according to the Miami Herald.
In his directive, Scott states that he supports the necessary deployment of force, which he believes should be limited to protecting the public, according to the paper. He said, however, that his department would “prefer not to be open about the use of force in defense of the public, since it is by definition a ‘last resort.’”
Sheriff Scott recently tightened other security measures.
On May 26, an armed parolee was shot and killed by a Broward deputy following a chase in Fort Lauderdale. The man, a 29-year-old Paul Lamar Jones, was wanted in connection with a attempted murder of a police officer in his hometown of Homestead. He was wanted on a probation violation and was not supposed to be at the location where the shooting took place, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Last week, it was reported that a judge in Florida ordered that Donald Trump Jr.’s former attorney Michael Cohen not be allowed to access bail for his upcoming trial because of Cohen’s “maintained interests in fraud, money laundering, and false statements.” Cohen was arrested last month, and he pleaded guilty in May to eight federal charges.
In recent years, immigration raids by ICE are getting more controversial due to the ICE’s use of dogs, cameras, stun guns, and other tools, according to the Washington Post.