Florida Sheriff Sets An Example of Himself After Getting Caught Speeding

Mike Chitwood 6 photos
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video by Kristen Colesanti
Mike Chitwood's promise to the communityMike Chitwood's strategyMike ChitwoodMike ChitwoodMike Chitwood
With great power comes great responsibility. Those are the words that probably echoed in the mind of Mike Chitwood, a sheriff in Volusia County, Florida.
Instead of Benjamin Parker, which is a character some of you might remember as “Uncle Ben,” the voice that told the new sheriff of Volusia County to ask to get a ticket for speeding was his. Sheriff Chitwood was driving an unmarked car while wearing his green uniform, and his actions did not go unnoticed, as he was 23 mph over the posted limit.

One of his subordinates, an unnamed sergeant, lit up the lights on his cruiser, performed a U-turn, and pulled up beside the sheriff. He recognized his superior, notified him that he was driving 78 mph in a 55 mph limit zone, and let him drive off as a professional courtesy.

Later that day, the sheriff realized he was wrong to accept the courtesy of his subordinate, and called him requesting a ticket. At first, the deputy was hesitant, but he proceeded in writing the ticket and registering it with the sheriff’s office regardless. The sheriff paid the $281 fine in full, and he provided the proof to News Journal Online.

Chitwood explained that he insisted on getting a ticket to be sure that his subordinates will be fair if they ever catch each other speeding, and to ensure that the public will trust the institution and its employees to do the right thing every single time.

On the day Sheriff Chitwood was caught speeding, the organization he now runs settled a lawsuit that was started against a deputy that crashed while speeding. A similar issue has led to an investigation within the institution after another deputy struck another car because of speeding.

Mike Chitwood is not the first law enforcement official to be caught speeding and ask to be fined for it. We approve of these examples, but we believe they should have been ticketed just like anyone else except the situations where there was a real emergency ahead of them.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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