William “Bill” Schultz has more than 23 years experience in law enforcement, has led innovations in the Fort Lauderdale Police Department (FLPD), and is a proud member of the LGBTQ community.
Now he is leading the department.
“I’m just so happy to openly represent the LGBTQ community as a chief of police in South Florida,” he said.
He officially started the job on Monday.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, himself also LGBTQ, says he looks forward to working with Schultz and improving the department.
“Bill Schultz has been an integral part of our city's law enforcement for over two decades, and his dedication and expertise have earned him this well-deserved position,” Trantalis said. “His extensive experience, including various assignments and leadership roles, reflects his unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our community.”
Schultz has a big job ahead of him. He becomes the fifth person to hold the job in five years. He says his first goal is getting staffed up.
“Hopefully in six months, you will find we’ve filled our vacancies. We need to be full staff.”
Heading Off Hate
Hate crimes are on the rise nationally and in Florida. At the moment, anti arab and anti-Semitic hate crimes are fueled by the terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas.
There are also hate crimes in other minority communities, especially among trans citizens. Many go unsolved or unreported because of a chasm of distrust between citizens and police. Schultz has plans.
“There are many outreach opportunities that we have not been good at [developing]. I want to reintroduce outreach to communities including the Haitian and Caribbean communities.”
In October, the department started a Hispanic Officers’ Association. It joins the Black Officers’ Association and the LGBTQ and the LGBTQ Liaison Unit.
Currently, the LGBTQ Liaison Unit has 12 members and Schultz wants that to grow to between 25-50.
Schultz, a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police, is making sure other officers have experience to deal with hate crimes.
“We are going to start sending officers with specific hate crimes training to the scenes of reported hate crime so that we document it correctly. We also want to get the victim services immediately to deal with the trauma they just went through.”
Schultz is committed to curbing hate crimes and wants the community to know they are seen, heard and, most importantly, understood.
“The crime is going to be fully reported and investigated to the fullest extent."