Local children’s home sees improvements in security, safety after 2 runaways shoot at deputies

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said he’s seen some real improvement at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Deltona.

Neighbors have also said they’ve seen things slow down around the children’s home, and it’s been on lockdown since the last shooting, but neighbors are not confident it will last.

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Data from the sheriff’s office shows it’s not been a quiet place these last few years.

Deputies handled 280 calls for service there last year and 89 this year before June 1, most of them for runaways.

Those numbers include a guard beaten to death and two children who investigators say got into a shootout with deputies.

READ: Immediate changes coming to children’s home where 2 left before firing at deputies

There have been four runaways since the June shooting.

“Things seem to have settled back down,” Chitwood said.

The home recently terminated its contract for emergency shelter services, so it’s no longer accepting children with serious emotional or violent tendencies.

READ: Reports give insight into two children who ran away from group home, shot at Volusia County deputies

A deputy has also been hired to be on the ground from 6 p.m. to midnight in September, but the home discontinued it this month.

Neighbors told Channel 9 they want to see more security there, and for the home to take more responsibility for the children it cares for and the community it serves.

READ: Volusia County shooting highlights issues with Florida juvenile justice, foster care systems

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.