Entire Crescent City Police Department placed on administrative leave

The entire Crescent City Police Department has been placed on administrative leave, pending an FDLE investigation. The investigation centers on police training and certification irregularities reported to the city manager after Police Chief Mark Carmen retired.

CRESCENT CITY, Fla. – The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has taken over jurisdiction from the Crescent City Police Department while the entire department is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

As of 5 p.m. on Friday, all Crescent City Police Department activities were forced to cease. The police building was forced to close and the five officers that make up the police force were all placed on administrative leave with pay.

As a result of the closure of the department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office was asked to come in and take over the law enforcement duties in Crescent City while FDLE conducts its investigation.

According to a news release from the Crescent City administration office, FDLE will be investigating irregularities that pertain to police officer training and certifications.

A portion of the news release states:

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said that in all of his years of working in law enforcement, this is the first time he has ever heard of something this drastic.

“I’ve never heard of an entire agency -- though it is small -- under investigation from the top all the way down to the bottom,” Jefferson said. “Usually, they hold top officials accountable for everything that goes on.”

Crescent City resident Diane Sykes told News4Jax that the investigation does not impact her perception of the police department’s officers.

“To me, it doesn’t say anything about the credibility of the police officers. We have the best police department we’ve had in years,” Sykes said. “It brings into question the chief who left under mysterious circumstances.”

Police Chief Mark Carmen had only been with the department since last year then decided to retire.

It’s unclear how long the investigation will last.

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