Volusia lieutenant decertified after sexual harassment of female coworkers

A Volusia County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant was decertified from service after a multi-month, internal affairs investigation revealed that he sexually harassed several female coworkers.

Former lieutenant Kyle Bainbridge surrendered his law enforcement certification on Thursday as part of a settlement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

In April 2021, an internal affairs investigation was opened into Bainbridge’s activity after he sent a subordinate deputy unwanted messages and sexual advances via social media and text. The deputy reported that Bainbridge used her automatic vehicle locator (AVL) data to track her and speak in person.

Kyle Bainbridge
Kyle Bainbridge (March 2022)

Around the same time, authorities learned that Bainbridge made similar advances on an officer from another law enforcement agency in Volusia County.

Bainbridge resigned sometime during the course of the internal affairs investigation.

Over the course of their investigation, authorities discovered that at least six women working in a sworn or civilian capacity had experienced similar accounts of Bainbridge’s conduct. Many of the women mentioned his reputation for similar behavior.

“The conduct we discovered in this investigation was a disgrace to our badge and a black mark on our organization,” said Chitwood.

In addition to his conduct with female colleagues, VCSO personnel discovered that Bainbridge had failed to respond to a number of significant calls for service. During an examination of Bainbridge’s AVL data, investigators noticed that Bainbridge was frequently not on the east side of the county where he was assigned as a watch commander.

Tracking data showed that Bainbridge spent many on-duty hours stationed at his girlfriend’s home or stationary elsewhere.

After their investigation, Chitwood and his staff determined Bainbridge had committed multiple policy violations, including leaving his assigned work area, ignoring duties, failing to follow general orders, harassment, sexual harassment and failing to comply with a direct order.

“While I’m anything but proud of the behavior of our disgraced former watch commander, I couldn’t be prouder of everyone who spoke out,” said Chitwood.

“Their complaints were valid, and we took action. Today, the Sheriff’s Office and our profession as a whole are better off without a law enforcement officer who’s more interested in harassing women than doing his job.”

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