Broward commissioners to meet privately on airport, courthouse security

Broward County commissioners will meet Tuesday behind closed doors to discuss airport and courthouse security, a concern since the Fort Lauderdale in January and the opening this year of a new .

The meeting is closed to the public because it involves confidential security matters, the county says. However, any action the commission decides to take would have to be at a public meeting.

Scott Israel will attend with members of his command staff.

Mayor Barbara Sharief said Friday that she won’t find out what’s going to be presented by staff until she’s in the meeting.

“There’s just some issues that need to be discussed,” Sharief said. “It’s about giving the information to the entire commission.”

A posted announcement says the closed meeting is “to discuss security systems and information related to security systems at various County facilities.”

Officials have been waiting on a county-ordered review of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shootings in Terminal 2 and the chaos that followed. Unsubstantiated reports of gunfire in other terminals followed the shootings, which led Israel to order a complete airport shutdown. The suspected lone gunman, Esteban Santiago, was taken into custody within minutes of opening fire.

Sensitive security portions of the airport’s “after-action” report could be discussed if available for the meeting, Assistant County Administrator Alphonso Jefferson said.

A of the Sheriff’s Office’s own review of the airport shootings, obtained by the Sun Sentinel in June, said the agency had failed to seize control and set up an effective command system, leading to a cascade of mistakes after the mass shooting.

A labor union that represents civilian workers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport issued this week that concluded the county hadn’t done enough emergency training of those workers, which it said contributed to the chaos.

In a related issue, is seeking reinstatement of 22 fire-rescue positions at the airport and Port Everglades that were cut in September 2015 when the federal grant that paid for them ended. Commissioners said they would not make a decision on the request until after its airport report is received.

As for the courthouse, the commission is expected to review a consultant’s report by the National Center for State Courts to determine what level of security is needed in the new tower. The commission and Israel over how many deputies should be stationed there, with Israel seeking a larger contingent with an armed deputy in every courtroom.

County officials have said $11 million in improved security features in the new courthouse tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale have improved security all around.

Courthouse security had become , where an inmate escaped from a courtroom in July 2016.

Dayonte Resiles, a maximum-security inmate, had obtained a handcuff key inside the jail, hid it in his jumpsuit and used it to unlock his restraints in the courtroom. He fled the courtroom, ran down a stairwell to a waiting car and was on the loose for six days before being arrested at a Riviera Beach hotel.

Prosecutors have charged 15 people with assisting in the escape.

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