Young takes over as Daytona’s first Black police chief
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
It’s now Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young.
Young, 42, assumed the position after a swearing in ceremony at City Hall on Nov. 6.
He makes history as the city’s first African American police chief.
“I am thankful for this opportunity. I am entrusted with enormous responsibility. I will not let you down or disappoint you,” Young said at the ceremony.
Young is the Daytona Beach Police Department’s 17th police chief since 1919. He will run a department of 256 sworn-in officers, 60 civilian employees and a $40 million budget, and the task of protecting a population of 68,000.
He replaces retiring Chief Craig Capri, who took over in 2017 and made Young his deputy chief.
Young was the second Black deputy chief. Ben Walton was deputy chief under Mike Chitwood. Walton left in 2012 for a job in Philadelphia. Chitwood was elected Volusia County sheriff in 2016 and re-elected in 2020.
Both predecessors had high praise for Young. “I can’t think of anybody better than Jakari (Young)
to leave this department to. He’ll do a phenomenal job. I am proud,” stated Capri.
Chitwood echoed on Friday, “Today tells you all you need to know about being an American. When I was chief here, Jakari excelled in every assignment that he was given. He is earnest. He deserves this.’’
‘A hard year’
Young is ready to lead but will do it his way.
“I can only be myself. I will respect the office of chief. I will do what I believe is right for the department and the community, not what is popular,” emphasized Young.
Young, like many people, has had a difficult 2020.
He said, “I lost my father this year. It’s been a hard year for everyone. I still thank my family for their support.”
City leadership believes in Young.
Mayor Derrick Henry commented. “We celebrate you. You are one of us. We support you. We encourage you. We thank you. We know you. The city commission asked for Jakari.”
Young is a 19-year police veteran having served as deputy chief, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, patrol division, criminal investigations, on the special response team, crises intervention team, professional standards, and more.
He is thankful for the community support and ready to win over doubters.
Young stressed, “When it looked like, I wouldn’t get this opportunity, you spoke up. You said to go with Jakari. Many questioned my qualifications only because they could not see past my skin color.”
Young graduated from the FBI Academy, PERF’s Senior Management Institute, the Southern Police Institute and Florida Leadership Academy.
He was born and raised in South Florida in Hollywood and is an only child. He is a graduate of McArthur High School in Hollywood.
Young attended Bethune-Cookman University where he earned a master’s degree in criminal justice administration and bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He even played the tenor drum and marched in the band.
He attended the police academy at Daytona State College and later was hired by the Daytona Beach Police Department.
Young is married with three children.