Jogger detained by Volusia County deputies helps with biased training

A Deltona man detained by Volusia County deputies was part of the agency’s anti-bias training. 

Joseph Griffin spoke to top leaders in the agency about his experience in early September. “I’m here because I was out on a jog,” he said. 

The registered nurse was out on a run when he was questioned by deputies searching for a burglary suspect. 

The encounter ended quickly and peacefully with Griff let go, although he expressed feeling embarrassed. Thursday, he was part of the agency’s anti-biased and cultural awareness training presented by Reverend John Long, which kicked off Thursday morning. 

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“What Joseph showed was that there’s a way to deal with it which is not always easy when you’re in the heat of the moment,” he said.

“That’s how you push paradigms. When people of different backgrounds of different cultures and different ethnicities sit in a room and just have a conversation,” said Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

Griffin’s message revolved around empathy.

“Respecting others putting yourselves in other people’s shoes or you are the officer doing the detaining,” he said.

Like Griffin, Sheriff Chitwood said he wants people on both sides of the badge to better understand each other. 

“Whether you agree or disagree it’s about listening and understanding somebody else’s perspective,” he said.