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Crestview Police Dept tries to rebuild after corruption scandal
CRESTVIEW -- CRESTVIEW - The Crestview Police Department is rebuilding from a corruption scandal and reaching out to the community.
This morning they invited people to talk one-on-one about their concerns.
Reporter Laura Hussey says, "Chief Tony Taylor and several officers from the Crestview PD made the rounds of tables here at the Tropical Palm Restaurant. Within an hour, they spoke to forty or fifty people"
They call it "Coffee with a Cop". Waitresses kept the cups full, as the conversation ranged from curfews to careers in law enforcement. Fourteen-year-old Bethany McGraw has lots of questions.
Bethany McGraw says, "What kind of guns they carry, I'm pretty sure it's like a Glock or whatever, and I want to know how they handle and what they do during arrests and stuff, like what if they have to shoot somebody or whatever."
To many who came, the recent scandal isn't nearly as important as what happens on the streets where they live.
Barbie Brygger says, "I wanted to see the positive things they're doing. And I wanted to see if they could control some of the motorcycle people that dart in and out of traffic"
The head of the Okaloosa chapter of the NAACP says Chief Taylor brought a high standard to the force when he took over.
But he wants to make sure there's no lingering damage from the racketeering conviction of former major Joey Floyd.
Sabu Williams of the NAACP says, "I want to make sure that we're not sitting still, that we're doing the work, that he's doing the work necessary to review the files and check every one of those cases out and to release anybody who has been wrongfully accused"
Chief Taylor and the State Attorney have said that work is being done.
Bethany McGraw says she doesn't judge the department on one person's actions, and her respect for the officers hasn't changed a bit.
Bethany says, "Not at all. There are some bad apples everywhere"
Laura Hussey says, "The police wanted people to know they're here to listen to their concerns anytime, coffee is optional."