The two final candidates for the position of Crestview Police Chief will meet the public at Warriors Hall on August 5.

CRESTVIEW — The search for a new police chief has been narrowed to two candidates.

The finalists are Stephen McCosker, deputy chief of the Ocoee Police Department near Orlando, and Mark Schrader, who retired in 2017 as chief deputy of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.

Both candidates impressed Crestview City Manager Tim Bolduc with their experience and approach to leadership. Bolduc said the candidates have faced very similar experiences to what they could possibly face in Crestview if they are chosen as the new chief.

“Their approach to leadership needed to be similar to mine, as would the way we’re doing things in the city," Bolduc said. “They both have a servant-style leadership. They had a strong opinion on making sure we do outreach in the community and find ways to better serve the community.”

Bolduc said McCosker and Schrader both demonstrate core values found in Crestview, such as love for family and community.

Both candidates are very qualified for the position, according to Bolduc.

McCosker has been with the Ocoee Police Department since 1992. He started as an officer and worked his way through the ranks to sergeant. In 2007 he became a lieutenant of support services including criminal investigations, community affairs, training and records.

McCosker became the deputy chief in 2015 and still serves in that role today.

During his time with the department, McCosker earned a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Public Administration from the University of Central Florida. He also attended the FBI academy in 2018.

McCosker spent five years during his time with Ocoee as an adjunct professor at Valencia College, where he taught criminology 101. He also has worked as an instructor for the Osceola County School District, teaching basic recruit education and defensive tactics, as well as advanced law enforcement courses.

Schrader has more than 32 years of law enforcement experience. He worked for the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office for 23 years, spending his last five years as chief deputy.

Before working for Highlands County, Schrader worked at Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for seven years. He started as a patrol deputy before working his way up to detective.

Schrader was also a deputy U.S Marshal for the U.S. Department of Justice and served in the Army Military Police Corps.

Schrader graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree from Amberton University and attended the FBI Academy. He is working on his Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree from the University of Virginia.

For the last eight years, Schrader has worked as an adjunct professor in the criminal justice management program at Webber International University.

Bolduc spent more than an hour on the phone with each candidate Friday and was excited about the possibility of either becoming Crestview's police chief.

“I think the combination of their work experience and the way they appear to handle themselves is great,” Bolduc said. “I will get a better understanding of them when they come here and I can see how they see the role of a leader in the department and community.”

McCosker and Schrader will be in town on Monday, Aug. 5, to spend they day in interviews before they attend a community meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. at Warriors Hall on Stillwell Boulevard.