Stephen McCosker has been selected by city manager Tim Bolduc as the new Crestview Police Chief. McCosker previously served as the Ocoee Deputy Police Chief. He will officially begin his role at the beginning of September.
CRESTVIEW — After a long search process, city manager Tim Bolduc announced Wednesday morning his selection for Crestview’s new police chief.
Bolduc’s decision came after Monday night’s meet and greet with the two finalists for the position, Ocoee Deputy Police Chief Stephen McCosker and former Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Schrader.
Bolduc selected McCosker as the new Crestview Chief of Police. The selection has to be approved by the city council during a meeting Monday night.
“The biggest thing was I felt Stephen would represent the city as a good, strong leader and be a man of integrity in both the agency and the community,” Bolduc said. “I also think the development of the officers inside the department will be natural to him and that’s important to me.”
McCosker said he was with his family when he found out about the decision.
“We were all very excited,” McCosker said. “It has been a long process, and we knew that the other candidate was very qualified.”
McCosker takes over a department that has seen much turmoil in recent years. He will be the fourth chief the department has seen since Tony Taylor was fired in June 2018 following an investigation into allegations of favoritism, rule inconsistency and unfavorable shift scheduling.
After Taylor's firing, former deputy chief Jamie Grant was hired as chief in January before announcing his retirement a few months later. Deputy Chief Lisa Sprague has been filling in as interim chief since Grant's retirement. Last month Sprague, who had applied for the chief's position, withdrew her application and announced she was leaving the department.
McCosker also comes into a department that has two recent unresolved murder cases on the books: the fatal April shooting of Pernell Thomas at Cash's Lounge in which a suspect has yet to be identified, and a fatal July shooting of Tywon C. Tatum, in which suspect Tony Jerome Byrd is still being sought by the department.
McCosker will not officially begin his new role until the beginning of September, but he will be brought up to speed on the department and community throughout different meetings this month.
Although he has to wait until September, McCosker is already looking at ways to improve the department.
“I want to review all of the policies as well as the disaster plan to make sure it’s in place and correct, as well as prepare to get the department ready for re-accreditation and learn as much as I can about the staff,” McCosker said.
Community engagement will be a huge part of McCosker’s transition in to the role.
“I have been very active in my current community,” McCosker said. “I’m definitely going to be looking to strengthen community engagement to help us build trust within the community.”
Some of the programs McCosker is hoping to introduce to the city include a shopping with a cop and popup games, such as basketball with a cop.
Besides new programs, McCosker also brings more than 30 years of law enforcement experience that will he hopes will help him lead effectively.
“In Ocoee, I have been able to be hands on with the budget process, so I will be able to help with that here,” McCosker said. “I also have an education in public administration and been a part of departmental growth management, which will be helpful in this new role.”