CRESTVIEW — Mayor David Cadle dismissed Crestview Police Chief Tony Taylor June 8 following a month-long investigation into multiple allegations by more than 30 police officers and agency administrative staff members.
Allegations included favoritism, rule inconsistency and unfavorable shift scheduling, which combined to lead to a reported decrease in morale within the department.
“When I approached Chief Taylor with these issues that were raised, he dismissed all these concerns and denied there was a morale problem in the CPD,” Mayor Cadle said. “He also stated these complaints were the fault of a conspiracy to remove him from office.”
Acting in his city charter-mandated capacity as head of Crestview’s public safety department, the mayor placed Chief Taylor on administrative leave with pay on May 10, during which he appointed Commander Jamie Grant, a 27-year agency veteran, as interim police chief.
A subsequent investigation upheld the allegations.
“As my investigation progressed, it became evident that an atmosphere of misconduct without consequences as well as favoritism by some officers had been allowed to flourish at the Crestview Police Department,” Cadle said.
“This is a reflection of a failure of diligent oversight and responsive leadership, which has led me to dismiss Tony Taylor as chief of police of the city of Crestview.”
Grant, who, earlier in his career, was the department’s first K9 officer, stressed that the agency’s commitment to the safety of the citizens of Crestview remained its paramount concern. Daily operations remained unchanged during the investigation period, and the agency will be operating as usual, he said.
“The average citizen will notice absolutely no change,” he said.
Among his first actions as chief were opening up weekly command staff meetings to interested officers, inviting patrol officers to serve on the panel that interviews potential recruits, and restoring the previous shift schedule preferred by officers.
Addressing business leaders’ concerns, Grant is working with his command staff to implement a full-time foot or bicycle patrol of Main Street and the city’s historic district.