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Sheriff Chitwood Announces Community/Parent Meetings On Internet Predators & More

Date Added: July 24, 2023 12:25 pm

Andrew Gant
Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations


Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood is announcing an upcoming series of community meetings where parents, grandparents and other guardians can learn how to protect kids from online predators and other dangers.

The meetings, which will include presenters from the Sheriff’s Office and from the Florida Department of Children and Families, are scheduled to begin next Monday in New Smyrna Beach and continue through July and August with events in DeLand, Deltona, DeBary and Pierson.

“If your kids are spending their time online, you need to be aware of what’s out there,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “Your kids’ safety starts at home, and we want every family to have the knowledge and the tools to avoid the predators we know are using the same apps kids use every day.”

The series of meetings was sparked by the recent arrest of a 29-year-old Cocoa Beach man who traveled to Deltona for sex with a 12-year-old girl he met on the Wink app and frequently messaged on Instagram.

Another noteworthy case in Volusia County was the February 2021 arrest of a 22-year-old Orlando man found in a motel room with a missing 13-year-old girl he met via Snapchat.

The Volusia Sheriff’s Office has conducted several proactive predator sting operations including Operation Indecent Proposal, Operation Unlawful Attraction, Operation Deviant Desire, Operation Illicit Solicit, and Operation Cyber Scumbag, as well as routine operations to check and enforce sexual offender and predator registration requirements.

Each meeting will also include Q&A and discussions on the facts about human trafficking.

The meeting schedule is below. Each event runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m.:

Monday, July 31
First NSB – A Family Church
200 Faulkner St., New Smyrna Beach

Monday, Aug. 7
Tomoka Christian Church
1101 E. Plymouth Ave., DeLand

Wednesday, Aug. 9
Deltona City Hall
2345 Providence Blvd., Deltona

Monday, Aug. 28
DeBary City Hall
16 Colomba Road, DeBary

Tuesday, Aug. 29
Mission San Jose of Saint Peter
165 Emporia Road, Pierson

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