Patel, Devan. 2021. ‘A terrible system for hiring officers’: 505 fired cops got a 2nd chance and blew it. Pensacola News Journal, Jan 03, 2021. (accessed January 4, 2021).

Joseph Floyd turned Florida’s Crestview Police Department into a criminal enterprise, the judge said at his 2013 sentencing, but his willingness to break the rules didn’t start there.

Story after story from witnesses, including fellow officers, illustrated the “irreparable” harm the judge said the police major caused: accusations of excessive use of force, false arrests, sexual assault, bribery, planting drugs, falsifying police reports and intimidating other officers to force them to go along with his crimes.


The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and others at the hands of law enforcement have spurred calls for police reform. But Florida lawmakers have largely failed to address how troubled officers get hired, as evidenced by the lack of proposed legislation spanning nearly a decade. A bill is in the works that calls for the creation of a misconduct registry, but that information is already public record in Florida. Another would reduce qualified immunity for police, which limits their personal liability.


The Naples Daily News and News-Press were unable to reach Van Camp for comment.

In some cases where an officer on one Brady list moves to another judicial circuit, the state attorney’s office is unaware of the past credibility concerns.

The State Attorney’s Office for the 10th Judicial Circuit put Michael Rowan on its Brady list when he was police chief at the Avon Park Police Department, where he was accused of being “untruthful and insubordinate” after being questioned about making “inappropriate recordings,” according to a letter from the state attorney’s office obtained through a public records request.

Yet he was then hired by both the Clewiston Police Department and Hendry County Sheriff’s Office in the 20th Judicial Circuit.

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