Biography of Sheriff Michael J. Chitwood

Sheriff Michael J. Chitwood is a prominent law enforcement figure in Volusia County, Florida, having been elected Sheriff in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. Born in November 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chitwood is a second-generation law enforcement officer with a dynamic career that spans various significant roles and departments across the United States.

Educational Background:

Chitwood pursued higher education in organizational management, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern University of Pennsylvania in 2005, followed by a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from NOVA Southeastern University in 2008. His formal law enforcement training includes graduation from the Philadelphia Police Academy and the 204th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Career Path:

Starting his career with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1988, Chitwood served in multiple divisions, earning 58 official commendations for valor, bravery, heroism, and merit. He later served as the Chief of Police in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and subsequently in Daytona Beach, Florida, before his tenure as Sheriff of Volusia County. His approach to policing emphasizes community safety, innovative training, and reducing the use of force. Under his leadership, Volusia County saw a significant decrease in use-of-force incidents and was an early adopter of the ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics) de-escalation training program.


Sheriff Michael J. Chitwood’s electoral journey in Volusia County has been marked by significant community support and notable success. He was first elected as Sheriff of Volusia County in August 2016, officially taking office on January 3, 2017. His election campaign emphasized transparency, accountability, and a strong community-oriented approach to policing, resonating well with the voters of Volusia County.

Chitwood’s initial victory was followed by a re-election in 2020, where he ran unopposed, demonstrating strong and continued support from the community and his colleagues. This unopposed re-election underscores his popularity and the confidence the public has in his leadership and the initiatives he has implemented during his tenure. Under his leadership, the Sheriff’s office has adopted progressive training programs, enhanced community engagement, and prioritized the reduction of use-of-force incidents, setting a precedent for community-focused law enforcement in Volusia County​.

Leadership and Recognition:

Chitwood’s leadership style is proactive and community-focused. He has been active in addressing anti-Semitic threats and violence, emphasizing solidarity with vulnerable communities. His efforts have earned him the Leadership Award from the Police Executive Research Forum, recognizing his significant contributions to law enforcement and community relations.

Professional Involvement:

Chitwood is involved in several law enforcement associations and has served on the Board of Directors for the Police Executive Research Forum. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida, sharing his knowledge and experience with the next generation of law enforcement officers.

Sheriff Chitwood’s approach to law enforcement and his dedication to the community he serves make him a notable figure in contemporary policing, committed to transparency, accountability, and progressive policing practices​.

The Official image of Sheriff Michael J. Chitwood, sheriff of Volusia County