Daytona Beach will be out in force
PHILADELPHIA police won't be the only law-enforcement people on Broad Street Sunday. Mike Chitwood, a former Philly police lieutenant who's now the chief in Daytona Beach, Fla., and 10 Daytona officers are running in the 28th annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run.
PHILADELPHIA police won't be the only law-enforcement people on Broad Street Sunday.
Mike Chitwood, a former Philly police lieutenant who's now the chief in Daytona Beach, Fla., and 10 Daytona officers are running in the 28th annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run.
Chitwood, 43, is a Broad Street Run veteran. He has run 19 in a row, 23 overall (best time: 67 minutes). The other Daytona police officers are making their Broad Street debuts.
"Only a few have run 10 miles," Chitwood said. "I keep preaching that it's not about speed, it's about finishing.
"My deputy chief, Steve Beres, broke his toe training, and he's training. He said, 'I'm too close. If it takes me 4 hours, I'm running it.' "
The Daytona contingent is running in honor of Al Tolley, a former Daytona Beach police-information officer who died last summer of lung cancer. He is survived by his wife, Jeannie, and daughter, Amy.
"Everybody loved him," Chitwood said. "It was really a sad thing for this department. His office was next to mine. Everyday he'd wander in and tell war stories."
Chitwood was sworn in as Daytona's police chief May 30, 2006.
"It's a great department, great people," he said. "It's almost like having an all-star team of the Philadelphia Police Department working for you.
"It is busy. We get 8 million visitors a year. I never have to worry about filling my days and nights.
Also, "It's 85 degrees and I'm getting ready to run on the beach. How can you beat it?"
Ben Walton, a former Philly police captain, is Chitwood's deputy chief of support services in Daytona.
Chitwood's father, Mike Sr., is the Upper Darby police chief. He's also a former Philly police officer.
Between Philly and Daytona, Chitwood spent a year as police chief in Shawnee, Okla. Shawnee, population 30,000, is 30 miles east of Oklahoma City.
"It was an interesting learning experience," Chitwood said. "The people were incredible. I thought I would stay a couple years there, but out of the clear blue sky, this job fell in my lap."
The Daytona Beach PD has 250 full-time officers. *