The process to find a new Police Chief is down to two, Stephen McCosker, Ocoee Deputy Police Chief, and Mark Schrader, former Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy. The two men participated in a meet and greet with the community at Warriors Hall on Monday night.

CRESTVIEW — The final two candidates for Crestview police chief met with residents in the city on Monday night.

Ocoee Deputy Police Chief Stephen McCosker and former Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Schrader attended a public meet and greet at Warriors Hall.

The hour-long event allowed the public to ask questions they might have for the two candidates and get acquainted with their potential new police chief.

“Both of them are very qualified and I think would make a great role model,” City Manager Tim Bolduc said. “I want someone the CPD can look up to. I’ve been impressed with how they carry themselves.”

Schrader said that even though the Crestview Police Department’s size is smaller than what he has led before, leadership is still leadership.

“There’s a lot of caring people here, but they need a leader,” Schrader said. “Integrity and leadership is what is needed. The biggest thing I can bring here is that it’s not about me, it’s about we and them. I want to be a part of the team.”

Schrader brings 32 years of law enforcement experience to the table. Schrader said those years could be beneficial if he is selected.

“I believe I could use my executive experience of 11 years at the sheriff’s office,” Schrader said. “We did a complete organizational change there and it appears that’s what’s needed here.”

 

McCosker said the possibility of leading the Crestview Police Department would be a great fit for him professionally and personally.

“It’s the size department I want to work for because in a department this size, you get more of a family feel with the officers and the community,” McCosker said. “Personally, my wife lived in the Panhandle before and Crestview is a really good place to raise a family. It has a lot of the same community values my family finds important."

If he is selected, McCosker said he has a lot of ideas for getting the department more engaged with the community, including building on such programs as the Citizens Academy.

“Everything I’ve done both as deputy chief and throughout my career has been included in community engagement,” McCosker said. “I’m very used to and actually need to be engaged with the community in order to do my job properly.”

 

Bolduc said no matter who is selected as the new chief, the city wins.

“The city of Crestview is going to be in a good place no matter who is selected,” Bolduc said. “Everybody has relayed to me they believe that either of these candidates will be good.”

Bolduc said he will have a final decision made on the new chief by Aug. 15.