VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Two deputies from the Volusia Sheriff’s Office have resigned following an internal investigation that revealed their involvement in separate relationships with a deputy recruit, according to an email sent by Sheriff Mike Chitwood to the staff and provided to FOX 35 News on Wednesday.
The internal investigation was initiated after receiving allegations of “inappropriate behavior” from the instructors at the Training Academy on July 4, as stated by Chitwood. The investigation has now been concluded.
The instructors, whose identities were not disclosed in the email, were found to have engaged in sexual relationships with a recruit who was under their training and supervision.
This act is in direct violation of several Volusia Sheriff’s Office General Orders, and the findings of the investigation have been permanently recorded in the former deputies’ personnel files, Sheriff Chitwood confirmed.
While acknowledging that the relationships were consensual, Chitwood emphasized that they were inappropriate, unacceptable, and a clear violation of the agency’s General Orders. He asserted that such relationships will not be tolerated or endorsed within the organization.
Chitwood recognized that relationships can naturally develop in any workplace but warned against imbalances of power when one party holds influence over the other. Such dynamics can lead to concerns of coercion, intimidation, or favoritism. Fortunately, the investigation did not find any evidence of such abuses in this case.
As a result of this incident, Chitwood urged all Volusia Sheriff’s Office staff to familiarize themselves with the agency’s policies concerning relationships in the workplace.