Two SWAT team members have been suspended indefinitely for responding without permission to the Valentine’s Day shooting that killed 17 in Parkland, Fla.
Detectives Jeffrey Gilbert and Carl Schlosser, who were near the scene at the time, created an officer-safety issue and made themselves unaccountable by responding to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School without authorization, the Miramar Police Department said.
The officers remain on active duty but are now shut out of the SWAT team, a “privileged program,” the department’s statement said. Their union has come to their defense.
“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 Police Benevolent Association president Jeff Marano said.
The Miramar Police Department had ordered Gilbert and Schlosser to remain on standby in case the Broward County Sheriff’s Office called on them to assist with the response to the shooting. The sheriff’s office never called, but the two detectives headed over to help anyway.
The Miramar SWAT team was “not needed” for the shooting response, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said. But four Broward County sheriff’s deputies have come under fire for remaining outside the school, hiding behind their vehicles while the gunman killed children and educators inside.