Stephen McCosker was selected as the new Chief of Police for the Crestview Police Department on August 7. He began his new role on Wednesday and has hit the road running. McCosker is looking to improve the department through strategic planning and communication.

CRESTVIEW — Stephen McCosker officially began his role as the new Crestview Police Chief on Wednesday.

McCosker, who has almost 30 years of experience in law enforcement, is ready to hold the police department to a higher standard than ever before.

His expectations for the department include increased professionalism and becoming the leader in municipal law enforcement. One way to assure that will happen is to review the accreditation process.

“For any business or organization, accreditation is the gold standard,” McCosker said. “That’s something that if we’re going to be municipal leaders, we’re going to have to work on.”

The department will also go through a strategic planning phase, which McCosker hopes will not only grow the department’s recruitment and diversity, but also improve communication between the department and the city’s residents.

“I don’t think there has been the level of communication both within in the police department and outside the police department that we need to be successful,” McCosker said. “One thing that everybody needs to understand is that law enforcement and crime reduction all really involve partnerships between the city, the police department and the community. Right now we’re seeing an absence of that two-way conversation.”

The police department has faced a lot of problems recently, but the new chief understands that crime has become a major problem within the city. He hopes that with an increased focus on communication, those problems will begin to be resolved.

“On the law enforcement side of it we’re going to have to increase our presence but we’re also going to have to increase the public’s willingness to communicate with us,” McCosker said. “It doesn’t matter what community you’re in, people that live there will always know more than the people that are working the community, so making sure we have active communication will help us start to address those issues.”

McCosker also hopes to explore funding and grants for a possible victim advocate. Having an advocate could help with not only reducing crime, but also help to solve them.

“It would help us communicate with different victims and coordinate with different witnesses in order to assure the victim is taken care of and also assure successful prosecution of people,” McCosker said.

McCosker is not only bringing new ideas to the department, but he also brings a stability that has been lacking the past couple of years.

He’s only been on the job for a short time, but he likes what he is already seeing and is excited about the department’s future.

“I think it’s going better than I had expected,” McCosker said. “As chief, I feel more at ease knowing that they’re working at a high level already.”