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Daytona Beach Police Department

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Daytona Beach Police Department

Daytona Beach Police Department
Abbreviation DBPD
DBPD police cruiser
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
General nature
  • Law enforcement
  • Local civilian agency
Operational structure
Headquarters 129 Valor Blvd.
Officers 241
Agency executive Mike Chitwood
Facilities
Stations 3
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Sub division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) is the primary law enforcement agency for Daytona Beach, Florida. There are 241 sworn full-time police officers, 105 sworn part-time officers and 81 civilians on the force which is headed by Michael Chitwood who serves as the chief, with Deputy Police Chief Ben Walton serving under him.

The main Police headquarters is located at 129 Valor Blvd., in a new building constructed after the former police headquarters at 990 Orange Avenue flooded. There is a DBPD substation located at the corner of Harvey and Wild Olive avenues on the "beachside" (barrier island portion of Daytona Beach).

Scumbag Eradication Team

The Scumbag Eradication Team: Not in our Town!" are the words printed upon a T-shirt used to raise money for the Daytona Beach Police Explorers Unit 22, a program which helps to mentor teenagers age 14 - 19, interested in a career in law enforcement.

The Police Explorers program is run by Learning for Life(LFL), a United States school and work-site based program that is a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America.

The T-shirts feature the words "Scumbag Eradication Team", and "Not In Our Town," with a caricature of DBPD Mike Chitwood (who served 17 years with the Philadelphia Police Department) and a toilet full of what are assumed to be "scumbags". According to the DBPD website:

"The purpose of the Daytona Beach Police Explorers Unit 22 is to assist the development of character in young people."[1]

While some have questioned the propriety of selling T-shirts to children with the word "scumbag" on it, Chief Chitwood has no qualms, according to Chitwood:
"If somebody doesn't like the fact that I call them a scumbag, too bad,".

Chitwood believes that the individuals he characterizes as "scumbags" not only erode the quality of life in Daytona Beach but they also ruin 'fabric'.

It's the scumbags like this that erode the quality of life and the fabric (sic) that we have here.[3][4][5]

The T-shirt and its logo have been cited in a $100,000 police brutality case filed by attorney Sam Masters, who claims the DBPD condones violent behavior. His client suffered broken ribs and a broken eye socket during an arrest. Chief Chitwood welcomed the lawsuit:

"My suggestion to legal was you offer him one dollar and when he refuses, lets go to trial."

Prolific use of the word "scumbag" in public, as well as printing T-shirts which make prominent use of the word scumbag is a family tradition started in Pennsylvania by Chitwood's father, Mike Chitwood also a police officer. The elder Chitwood, currently police chief of Upper Darby in Pennsylavania prints; "Not in My Town, Scumbag" on his shirts.[6][7]

Ride Along Program

The DBPD has a ride along program that offers civilians the opportunity to ride in the front seat of a real police car for a suggested donation of $250. According to the flier advertising the program "This ride-along isn't just tooling around, eating doughnuts and writing parking tickets." There are four different action packed programs offered which vary in length from two to four hours. "Whether you choose to lock and load, cuff 'em and stuff 'em, or read 'em their rights, you will get your money's worth ... ," the flier states.[8]

Serial Killer

Four unsolved homicides that occurred in December 2005, January 2006, February 2006 and December 2007 were linked to a single offender, a fifth unsolved death that occurred in October 2006 may have also been committed by the same offender. As of August, 2011, the person or persons responsible for the murders dubbed the Daytona Beach killer, has not been apprehended and the investigation is still open.[9]

Controversies

Toilet stall threats

Threats against DBPD chief Michael Chitwood have been left in toilet stalls in bathrooms of the Volusia County Mall, but according to Chitwood he is non-plussed about the threat and others like it because toilet stall death threats come with the job;
"If you wanna come after me, make sure you bring your ‘A’ game 'cause I shoot back,".
Norma Bland, a community activist, believes death threats in public toilet stalls are an indicator of the good work being done by the Daytona Beach Police Department: "I take it as a compliment that we're doing our job."[10]

Knucklehead incident

DBPD Chief Michael Chitwood calls law-abiding citizens "knuckeheads" on a 1380am Goliath Radio program, in reference to a Florida S.S. in which it is legal for citizens of Florida to open-carry a firearm while in the act of fishing.

Professional courtesies

DBPD chief Michael Chitwood called Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson a "moron" during a public meeting and said after the meeting that he stands behind his comment.[11] Ben Johnson said through a spokesman he would not dignify Chitwood's insult with a comment.[12]

Newcomb promotion

DBPD Chief Michael Chitwood promotes Jim Newcomb to the position of Captain (3rd in command under Chitwood), despite objections from the police union over his controversial past, which includes the wrongful firing of a lesbian officer and year-long harassment of another female officer.

Taser incident

On December 20, 2007 , Daytona Beach police officer Claudia Wright tased Best Buy customer Elizabeth Beeland in front of a storeload of customers. A store clerk had called police thinking Beeland was using a stolen credit card, which turned out not to be the case. Beeland was backing away from Wright when she was tased. Police Chief Mike Chitwood defended his officer's actions.[13] Wright was also investigated for interfering in a narcotics investigation in 2009 by tipping off the suspects and was arrested in 2010 by members of her own department on three felony charges for fraud and forgery for allegedly defrauding her own grandmother.[14]

The black community

After a heavily publicised incident on the campus of the historically black Bethune–Cookman University, in which DBPD Chief Chitwood was alleged to have made racist comments, the NAACP asked the U.S Attorney General, Eric Holder to probe Chitwood’s "racially tinged’’ comments about the disturbance. A recent spate of murders in the black community including the shooting death of a 13 year-old boy who was shot in the face, have led some to blame the DBPD moving the police headquarters from Orange Ave. in the black community, to Valor Boulevard. in a culturally-mixed suburban area of Daytona Beach. When asked about the possibility of placing a police substation in the area Chitwood responded that substations were: "a monument for cops to sit on their ass and don’t do anything".[15]

Coffee Shakedown

Daytona Lt. Major Garvin was fired for shaking down employees of a local Starbucks coffee shop where he received free coffee for about two years. Garvin was said to have visited the Starbucks up to six times a day while on duty and intimidating some of the employees and was accused of saying, "If something happens, either we can respond really fast or we could respond really slow. I've been coming here for years and I've been getting whatever I want. I'm the difference between you getting a two-minute response time, if you needed a little help, or a 15 minutes response time." When asked to take a polygraph Garvin agreed, the results however suggested he was lying.[16] Garvin was fired for this incident then subsequently rehired based on an arbitrators ruling that the investigation into his behavior was "shoddy". He was involved in another incident in May 2010, involving parking his unmarked patrol car in a handicapped parking space at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Osceola County. He is currently under investigation again, according to DPBD Chief Chitwood.[17]

Killed in Line of Duty

  • Police Officer Kevin John Fischer, a motorcycle cop, was struck and killed on September 4, 1998, by a pick-up truck on I-95, while aiding in an accident investigation of a prior incident.[18]

Officer Fischer is buried at the Volusia Memorial Cemetery in Ormond Beach, Florida.

See also

Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Promotion of questionable officer.==References==

External links

  • Daytona Beach Police Department (official website)
  • Daytona Beach Serial Killer
  • Officer Uses Taser To Tame Best Buy Shopper/ Video
  • Fired Daytona cop accuses others of lying on police report
  • Chief: Daytona Officer Almost Cleared In Girlfriend's Death
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