Daytona Beach Police Department promotes first woman to deputy chief

Deputy Chief Jennifer Whittet is making history but credits her hard work ethic

Daytona Beach Police Department made history promoting a woman to deputy chief for the first time.

Daytona Beach Police Department made history promoting a woman to deputy chief for the first time.

Jennifer Whittet has been with the department since 2001.

“I think it goes beyond just me. Yes, I’m the first female deputy chief, I worked very hard to get here and I’m proud of where I’m at but I think this agency and this community has so much to offer past me,” she said.

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Whittet started her career in her Wisconsin hometown. Wanting a bit more sunshine, she joined the Daytona Beach Police Department as a patrol officer.

“I started off there. Then, in 2004 I went to our street level narcotics unit and shortly after that I went to FDLE task force for upper-level narcotics,” said Whittet.

She then worked her way up sergeant, then lieutenant, and in November, she was promoted to deputy chief by the recently appointed Chief Jakari young.

“She’s also the highest-ranking female in the entire seventh judicial circuit which includes Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns county,” said Young.

Young, who also made history as the city’s first black police chief, said when he took the job and promoted Whittet crime levels were extremely high. He tasked Whittet with finding solutions to these issues they run into daily.

“We had to hit the ground running and I needed a solid deputy chief to catch my back and do what needed to be done,” he said.

Young said the department shows diversity in hopes to mirror the community it serves.

Whittet’s advice for other women in law enforcement: Do your job.

“If you don’t get discouraged, if you don’t get overwhelmed, if you don’t think it’s just a man’s job, if you just go out and do your job you’ll be able to do anything,” she said.