Two Florida SWAT team officers have been suspended after they rushed to the scene of the Parkland shooting last month without permission, TheBlaze reported.
When Detective Jeffrey Gilbert and Detective Carl Schlosser heard of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, they rushed to the scene to offer their professional assistance. Now, they are being punished for it.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Miramar Police Department officials claim the officers’ actions went against protocol and created an “officer safety issue.” Others, however, are praising Gilbert and Schlosser for their “heroic” efforts.
“While it may have been a violation of policy to not notify their supervisors that they were going there, their intentions were brave and heroic, I think,” Broward County PBA President Jeff Marano told the Sun-Sentinel Wednesday.
A third SWAT member, Officer Kevin Gonzalez, was accused of posting messages on social media that were critical of the officers’ response. He has been suspended for violating the department’s social media policy and the code of conduct, police spokeswoman Tania Rues said.
All three officers were forced to surrender their SWAT-issued rifles and removed indefinitely from what Rues described as a “privileged program.”
“Effective immediately you have been suspended from the SWAT Team until further notice. Please make arrangements with the training department to turn in your SWAT-issued rifle,” Capt. Kevin Nosowicz told the officers in a memo following the school shooting, as reported by the Miami Herald.
The memo noted that the officers attended the scene “without the knowledge or authorization from your chain of command” and created a safety situation “due to dispatch not knowing your location or activity.”
On the afternoon of the shooting, a SWAT team was put on standby in case the Broward County Sheriff’s department requested back up, but they never did.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that it could not confirm whether anyone contacted the Miramar department on the day of the shooting, but said Miramar’s SWAT team was “not needed.”
(H/T: The Blaze)