CRESTVIEW — On Jan. 25, Mark Tymon accompanied his wife, Lisa, to a job fair sponsored by CareerSource Okaloosa Walton at the Crestview Public Library.
On May 11, it was Mark who started a new career.
Mayor David Cadle, joined by Police Chief Tony Taylor, swore Mark, Richard Bagushinski, Christine Lawrence and Frank Van Schmidt into office as newly appointed Crestview Police officers as family members and supporters applauded.
The new officers passed a physical aptitude test, an interview process and an exhaustive background check that for some applicants can take up to three months.
Except for Van Schmidt, a certified Florida law enforcement officer who had previously served with Taylor at the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, the new officers are still training at the Northwest Florida State College Criminal Justice Department’s police academy, which leads to state certification.
Simultaneously they are undergoing an intensive training program at the Crestview Police Department, where certified instructors run them through vigorous courses including firearms certification, Taser and defensive baton training.
The afternoon before they swore to uphold the U.S and Florida constitutions and the charter of the city of Crestview, the new officers found themselves on the floor of Warriors Hall, having experienced what it’s like to be Tased.
A couple hours after their swearing in, they were furiously washing their faces after performing a series of defensive and dexterity exercises including being blasted in the face by pepper spray.
“It’s a tough job,” said Mayor David Cadle, who oversees the city’s public safety departments. “I admire these officers for stepping up to accept the responsibility that comes with it.”
“This is a tremendous milestone in their lives,” Taylor said. “It’s not just a commitment to their community, but the beginning of a new way of life.”