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Intersection: Sheriff Chitwood On Training Deputies To Be Guardians Not Warriors

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood spoke to media in December 2016 before taking office. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
Mike Chitwood talking to media about his plans for the sheriff's office. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

A Volusia County Sheriff’s deputy is on administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the fatal shooting of a man at a RaceTrac gas station last week in Deltona. 

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood promised a new start for the office when he pinned on the badge six months ago.

In his previous job as Daytona Beach Police Chief, Chitwood trained his officers in de-escalation, in which officers to try and use non-lethal options before resorting to deadly force.

"The objective of this de-escalation is that everybody goes home safe. The bad guy goes to jail safely and the deputy goes home safely."

After 4 deputy involved shootings this year, Chitwood says he’s frustrated.

"Its the mentality of the Graham vs. Connor Supreme Court ruling," says Chitwood.

"If an officer feels that they are threatened, and they can articulate that, they have the right to jump the deadly force. There is no gray area in that ruling and that's what everyone holds their hat on and I'm asking them to think broader than that."

Chitwood says starting on Monday the sheriffs office will start training deputies in de-escalation.