Crestview chief: Police department remains divided

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 18:11 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Last September, Police Chief Tony Taylor inherited a department mired in scandal and divided in its loyalties.

He said he has struggled to unite the force since taking over for fired Chief Brian Mitchell, but doesn’t believe he can do so until after the criminal trial of Maj. Joseph Floyd.

Taylor said he has spoken to every Crestview police employee since his hiring and “has observed a lot of tension.”

“We’ve still got a pretty big divide in the agency, and we’re not going to be able to put it behind us until this is over one way or another,” Taylor said. “I can’t pick up the momentum I need until after the trial.”

Floyd was arrested March 5, 2012, after a grand jury indicted for racketeering. His trial has been continued six times since then, most recently Feb. 28, when a March 18 court date was moved back to July 15.

Floyd’s indictment followed a lengthy investigation of the police department by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the state attorney’s office.

More than 40 witnesses were interviewed and testified before the grand jury, records show. Many witnesses were police department employees.

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