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Sheriff Chitwood Names New Chief Deputy & Division Chief

Date Added: March 21, 2022 12:51 pm

Sheriff Chitwood Names New Chief Deputy & Division Chief Image

Andrew Gant
Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations


Sheriff Mike Chitwood is announcing his selection of a new Chief Deputy and a civilian Division Chief, two promotions from within the organization as the agency’s current Chief Deputy retires after a 35-year career in law enforcement.

With veteran Chief Deputy Joseph Gallagher Jr. retiring in the coming weeks, Sheriff Chitwood selected his next Chief Deputy as Brian Henderson, himself a 20-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office.

Henderson, whose wide range of assignments include his most recent post as Division Chief of Administrative Services, will turn over those duties to Renfeng Ma, the agency’s highly regarded Chief Financial Officer and the first civilian named to Sheriff Chitwood’s team of division chiefs.

“Every sheriff should be so fortunate to be surrounded by the caliber of leaders we have at the Volusia Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Chitwood said following the promotions, which were officially announced to the agency Friday. “It’s been an absolute privilege to work alongside Chief Gallagher, the epitome of an honorable, trustworthy career law enforcement officer. As he heads into the next chapter of his life with his family, I’m excited to call on Chief Henderson to bring his own outstanding, visionary leadership to the next level as my second-in-command.”

Ma, who joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2019, is taking on a broader role following his instrumental work in building the financial infrastructure of an independent, constitutional Sheriff’s Office as authorized by Florida voters’ passage of Amendment 10 in 2018. As Division Chief of Administrative Services, Ma’s areas of supervision will include finance, budget, human resources, fleet management and information technology, all currently overseen by Chief Henderson.

Prior to joining the Sheriff’s Office, Ma served as the principal data architect, the enterprise resource planning director and the budget director for the government of Sedgwick County, Kansas, home of the state’s largest city, Wichita. Of his service to the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Chitwood noted: “I don’t know anyone more knowledgeable or brilliant than Ma in so many complex areas, and since his arrival at the Sheriff’s Office, he has proven to be an unmatched asset to our organization and to the taxpayers of Volusia County.”

Henderson, a Volusia County native who graduated from Spruce Creek High School, earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and attended the Daytona State College Police Academy, the Florida Leadership Academy, the FBI National Academy and the Senior Management Institute for Police, has served in virtually every law enforcement role at the Sheriff’s Office since he was hired as a deputy in 2002. He held assignments in patrol, crime suppression, and street-level narcotics, served on a DEA task force, and progressed through the Investigative Services Section as a detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain, followed by 2 ½ years as the Division Chief over all law enforcement operations.

Chief Gallagher’s retirement follows a career that began with the Ormond Beach Police Department in 1987 and then the Sheriff’s Office two years later. A third-generation law enforcement officer, Gallagher served on patrol, SWAT, narcotics and investigations, and was the recipient of 15 official commendations for outstanding performance, valor and merit over his career.

Chief Henderson and Chief Ma will be ceremoniously promoted at an upcoming staff meeting.

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