More community engagement, transparency among new police chief’s plans

Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 14:07 PM.

"We are going to be the premiere agency for miles around," he said, adding that he would review the department’s pay scales and aim to make them compatible with that of nearby state law-enforcement agencies. 

Taylorhas spent most of his 35-year law enforcement career with the Fort Walton Beach police department.  He started with the department in 1978 as an auxiliary police officer and jumped up the ranks from sergeant to captain during his tenure. 

He decided to retire from full-time police work in 2010.

"During that particular time, they had offered the final incentives for retirement they could offer," Taylor said. "The next step was cutting positions and sending people home. I didn't want to see anyone go home."  However, he continued to serve as a consultant.

Last year, Taylor ran against Larry Ashley for Okaloosa County sheriff. He said that experience won't affect the agencies’ working relationship, and said he respects the voters’ choice.

"We have some philosophical differences," Taylor said, contrasting him and Ashley. "But he runs his department and I will run mine."

Taylormentioned that he was interested in reconstituting the street crimes unit. The unit was suspended following the removal of Joseph Floyd, who was the unit commander.

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