ORLANDO, Fla. – From calls to defund the police to requiring de-escalation and implicit bias training, the current climate of policing in America is hot topic across the country.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood joined anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly on ClickOrlando.com” to give his thoughts and ideas on how to improve the somewhat torn relationship between the community and law enforcement.
“Listen to the message the peaceful protesters are protesting about,” Chitwood said. “Is de-escalation a bad word? Obviously not. Is improving racial relations a bad idea? No, it’s not. Should we shift some of the burden of the stuff we handle off into other social service agencies? That’s not a bad idea either. There’s more common ground between us than separate ground.”
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office next month will have department-wide implicit bias training. Chitwood says he’s trying to shift the organization’s culture to show that law enforcement officers are guardians rather than warriors.
“I think it’s been well-received [within the department],” Chitwood said. “We are a democracy, and in a democracy the voice of the people must be heard.”
Watch the full interview Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on News 6.