The election for Sheriff of Broward County has nothing to do with bigotry or politics and everything to do with righteous facts.
Race is not an issue in this election. I am a black male who started in law enforcement in 1977 and worked my way up through the ranks to retire at the ranking of colonel. My wife, Angie, was the third black female to be hired and the first sent to the BSO Academy, and retired as a police major in Broward County.
I have successful friends in state, federal and local law enforcement agencies who are black and, frankly, it's offensive to think that this is occurring because the current sheriff happens to be a black male. Historically, black males and females along with members of other minority groups have worked hard to be successful in this profession, all without lying on official employment documents or manipulating the system to their benefit.
Gregory Tony diminishes the integrity and honor of the law enforcement profession in which employees are held to the highest standard.
As a military veteran and after serving 40 years in law enforcement, I am embarrassed to think that lying repeatedly on numerous official documents has anything to do with race.
I grew up in Liberty City-Miami where crime, violence and drugs were substantially higher than in Philadelphia, but I don't complain. I worked hard just like everyone other man or woman serving on the front lines. But, we did it correctly so that the communities in which we serve may find us trustworthy.
The fact remains that Greg Tony, who uses his childhood in Philadelphia’s drug-infested neighborhood like a shield of honor to blind people to the reality of his dishonorable behavior, was not properly vetted and provided fabricated information to obtain a government position. This is a crime in the State of Florida. As law enforcement enforces the law, so should the law be enforced in this case.
This should be done for every BSO job candidate who was disqualified for truthfully completing required documentation; for every employee who has worked hard to pass the scrutiny and examination of the BSO hiring process; and for former BSO employees that Greg Tony fired for untruthfulness.
My heart goes out to the black, Hispanic, Indian, Asian, white and other ethnic employees wearing the BSO uniform who feel embarrassed and a loss of respect as public servants because this reprehensible individual was foisted upon them for political reasons.
If something is not done to remove Greg Tony from office, it sets an unethical standard and a dangerous precedent in an agency and a profession that is supposed to uphold the law. Allowing Greg Tony to remain in office challenges the honor, respect and integrity that law enforcement represents and stands for today.