Volusia sheriff looking to offer incentive to get more deputies vaccinated

Sheriff Chitwood estimates around 48% of VCSO is vaccinated

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Several Central Florida sheriffs are concerned about their brother and sisters in blue because of COVID-19.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood is tired of COVID-19 related fatalities ravaging law enforcement agencies.

In an effort to save lives Chitwood said he is thinking of offering workers an incentive for getting a vaccination.

[TRENDING: What does full approval of Pfizer jab really mean? | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“What I’m looking to do is if you’ve been vaccinated or get vaccinated, we’re looking to give you three days off, we will add three vacation days into your bank,” he said.

Chitwood said in the event a vaccinated worker gets a breakthrough case the worker will be paid while recovering at home.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina offers employees three additional days off if they can show him they are vaccinated.

[RELATED: Orange, Polk sheriffs call for law enforcement vaccination after deputies die from COVID-19]

“We give you a bulletproof vest, we train you, we give you all of these things to protect you and your family. Why for political reasons would you not take a vaccine?”

Chitwood said despite a growing number of deaths, many law enforcement workers remain skeptical about getting the vaccine.

“We have a guesstimate, we are running around 45 to 48% of the organization is vaccinated, my courts are the most vaccinated because I have court security, they are probably pushing 70%,” Chitwood said.

[RELATED: Orange County Sheriff offering 3 days off if workers are vaccinated]

While Chitwood said he will not mandate vaccination, one of his top concerns is how the virus will impact sheriff’s office operations.

“At our communications center, we do countywide dispatch, those folks work hard and work a lot of hours, they are in a confined space, they are the first line of defense and we’re running very high on COVID infection there if they go down, we are out of business,” he said.

Mina also issued a frank message with his deputies Wednesday on social media in his continuing effort to urge his department to get vaccinated.

[RELATED: Outspoken Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd pushes COVID vaccine after deputy’s death]

Mina posted a video message on Twitter asking OCSO employees to get vaccinated.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is also pushing for everyone to get vaccinated.

PCSO deputy Christopher Broadhead,32, died earlier this week from COVID-19.