Volusia deputies who patrol areas where trust in police is lowest undergo racial bias training

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A group of Volusia County deputies who patrol one of the communities that trust police the least went through training Monday aimed at restoring that trust.

The selected deputies work in the Spring Hill neighborhood in DeLand, which was the site of a large block party in May that led to several arrests.

READ: Deltona woman charged with aiding, abetting after high-speed chase, deputies say

Randy Nelson, a professor at Bethune-Cookman University’s Center for Law and Justice, and the person administering the training, says rebuilding that trust is about getting to know people.

“I if the only time nine or 10 year old black or brown kids see law enforcement is when they’re coming in and taking out...even if they’re taking out the bad guys, it’s like Pavlov’s dog. The association is negative,” Nelson says.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood agrees building strong relationships may help change that perspective.

READ: Local law enforcement community mourns Ocala police chief killed in Marion County plane crash

“So the community can live life in our shoes and we live life in the community’s shoes and foster a much better relationship,” Chitwood says.

Chitwood says the training can also help with recruitment.