Former Lieutenant decertified following Internal Affairs investigation.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
A former Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant resigned following an internal affairs investigation that revealed his involvement in the sexual harassment of several female colleagues. Kyle Bainbridge surrendered his law enforcement certification Thursday after a settlement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“The settlement means Kyle Bainbridge will not have another opportunity to use a badge to make unwanted advances on women,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. “The conduct we discovered in this investigation was a disgrace to our badge and a black mark on our organization. The only positive here is the lesson that harassment, abuse of authority, and inattention to duty, will not be tolerated at the Volusia Sheriff’s Office.”
According to the release, the initial investigation began in April 2021, following a subordinate deputy reporting the then-lieutenant had repeatedly sent her unwanted messages and sexual advances via social media and text, and used her automatic vehicle locator (AVL) data to track her down and speak to her in person. Around the same time, Bainbridge made similar advances on an officer from another law enforcement agency in Volusia County. Throughout the VSO investigation, at least six women working in a sworn or civilian capacity gave comparable accounts of his conduct. Several mentioned his reputation for similar behavior.
Throughout the investigation, investigators found that Bainbridge failed to respond to significant calls for service. The AVL data on his car indicated he frequently was not on the east side of the county where he was the assigned watch commander but spent many on-duty hours stationary at his or his girlfriend’s home.
Bainbridge resigned in the middle of the investigation.
When the investigation was complete, investigators determined that he had committed multiple policy violations, including leaving his assigned work area, inattention to duties, failure to follow general orders, harassment, sexual harassment, and failure to comply with direct orders.
“While I am anything but proud of the behavior of our disgraced former watch commander, I could not be prouder of everyone who spoke out,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “Their complaints were valid, and we took action. Today, the Sheriff’s Office and our profession are better off without a law enforcement officer who is more interested in harassing women than doing his job."
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