‘The right choice’

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Young moves up to Daytona Beach police chief

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

The city of Daytona Beach is promoting one of its own to lead one of its largest, most critical and important departments.

Jakari Young will become the next police chief of Daytona Beach.

On Oct. 31, Daytona Beach City Manager Jim Chisolm announced the move.

The announcement even came as a bit of a surprise to Young.

“I was a little bit surprised. I thought I would be interim chief until at
least January. I was surprised by the call from the city manager. He told me that he had good news,” Young told the Daytona Times.

Nov. 6 swearing in

Young, 42, will make history becoming the city’s first African American to head its police department.

“It’s an extremely humbling and honoring experience. I am thankful for God’s blessing in my life. There is a certain level of anxiety. I know I am the man for the job. I don’t want to let anyone down,” responded Young.

On Nov. 6, Young will be sworn in during a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on the steps of City Hall at 301 S. Ridgewood Ave., Daytona Beach.

‘The right choice’

City leadership has nothing but praise for Young.

“I believe Jakari’s the right choice to serve as Daytona Beach’s next police chief. He knows our community, has a stellar track record and has the respect of his peers. He has established himself as a competent law enforcement professional and is well qualified to lead our department,” said City Manager Jim Chisholm.

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry advocated for Young to get the job.

Henry stated, “Jakari Young is well prepared and ideal to serve as the next police chief of our city. He is universally respected, humble and even-tempered. I look forward of supporting him and encourage the community to support him.”

Capri retiring

Young replaces Police Chief Craig Capri, who is retiring after 30 years on the force. Capri took over in 2017 and Young was named deputy chief.

Young is the second Black person to be second in command. Ben Walton was deputy chief under then Police Chief Mike Chitwood. Walton left in 2012 to take a position in Philadelphia.

Following legendary predecessors, Young is ready to make his mark.

Young emphasized, “I can only be myself. I can’t be Craig Capri and I can’t be Mike Chitwood. I have to be Jakari Young and do what I believe is right for both the department and the community.”

Young has spent 19 years on the police force serving in various roles, including deputy chief, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain.

Bethune-Cookman grad

He was born and raised in South Florida in Hollywood and is a graduate of McArthur High School.

He came to Daytona Beach via Bethune-Cookman in 1997 where he was a member
of the marching band. He played the tenor drum.

Young earned his master’s degree in criminal justice administration and bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from B-CU.

After college, he joined the police academy and became a member of the Daytona Beach Police Department.

“I want to go to the police department in Miami, but I was hired here. I traded the Miami police for the Daytona police,’’ Young noted.

He is married with three children.

Seventh chief

Young will head a police department that has 256 sworn in officers, 60 civilian employees and operates on a $40 million budget. In addition, he will be the seventh police chief in the city since 1919.

He is ready for challenges ahead including the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest and scrutiny for law enforcement.

“I am taking office in the middle of pandemic and law enforcement is in the spotlight post George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I must make sure our department understands that
at our core we are nothing mor than public servants. That’s our No. 1 focus and our No. 1 goal,” Young explained.

“We don’t want the issues that other cities across the country have. I feel we do a good job with our community engagement and our past work to ensure those things don’t happen,’’ Young added.

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