A tribute to fallen Broward Sheriff Ron Cochran was replaced with a garish tribute to Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony. In 1997, the new headquarters of the Broward Sheriff’s Office was named in honor of the late Ron Cochran. A large monument sign on the corner of Broward Boulevard and NW 27th Avenue marked the entrance of the Ron Cochran Public Safety Building in Fort Lauderdale. Now, the tribute to Cochran is gone.
Ron Cochran was elected Broward Sheriff in 1992. Cochran was the longtime Fort Lauderdale Police Chief. In September 1997, after a long battle with brain and lung cancer, Cochran died in office. Published reports hailed Cochran as the “modern architect” of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
While battling cancer, Cochran faced enormous pressure to resign. Former Florida Attorney General Robert Butterworth visited Cochran to deliver news that then Governor Lawton Chiles would not force him from office. Butterworth told the Sun-Sentinel, “More than anything, Ron Cochran loved being a cop. His last wish was that he be given the chance to die with his boots on.”
“Florida lost a wonderful, competent, professional law enforcement officer who I think ran a very fine department,” Governor Chiles said. “I think we also lost a great humanitarian. He believed in very strict law enforcement, but he also believed very strongly in prevention.”
Two months later, the Broward County Commission honored Ron Cochran by naming the public safety building after him. The Sun-Sentinel reported the very humble Cochran did not want such honors.
“Susan McCampbell, acting Broward County sheriff, said Cochran told her during his last days that he didn’t want his name going on any public buildings, parks , ‘not even a parking space.’”
“’He was a very humble man, that was part of his charm,’ she said. ‘That’s why it took the County Commission about 30 seconds to rename the building after him.’”
While Cochran’s name may still be on the building, the large sign on the busy intersection is no more. It’s been replaced with a digital marquee sign with an oddly painted surround. One Monday morning, the marquee read “Sheriff Gregory Tony.” The sign features the Broward County logo as well as the BSO logo.
While there’s room for Cochran’s name, only the building address remains on the sign.
Nobody would ever mistake Sheriff Gregory Tony as a humble man. Whether it’s embellishments of his football career at Florida State University, vanity podcasts or appearing on swinger websites in a Speedo, Gregory Tony is no stranger to self-promotion.
One thing Tony does not promote is the ongoing legal inquiry into his tenure at BSO. In an exclusive report last week, REDBROWARD revealed the Tony legal inquiry was moved to the office of the State Attorney of 20th Judicial Circuit in southwest Florida.
Wonder if State Attorney Amira Fox and her investigators are big fans of Gregory Tony’s self-promotion?
The only signage mentioning Ron Cochran is located near the back entrance of the Ron Cochran Public Safety Complex. There is no signage on the front of the main building.
Who decided to insult the legacy of Ron Cochran? How long before the sign near the back door is replaced with another bit of Gregory Tony self promotion?