Mexico Beach- Newly hired Mexico Beach Police Chief Glenn Norris is coming in at a time when the Department of Public Safety is trying to repair its image and regain the public's trust.
"We just have to keep our heads up. That's what we've been doing ever since the investigation started," Norris told NewsChannel 7 on his first day as chief of police Wednesday.
Two separate investigations in fact into alleged misconduct by former Police Chief Brad Hall and some of his officers. The Bay County Sheriff's Office report found lies, intimidation, and neglect of duty. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's case is sill open. All of this was happening while then Captain Norris was serving overseas.
"The morale when I came back was non-existant, not just in the police department but in all three divisions," said Norris.
"All of these controversial meetings and knowing what has been going on, why despite all that did you still want to stay here?" asked NewsChannel 7's Bryan Anderson.
"This is what I consider my home. This department I feel could, I'm not going to say be fixed, but I felt like I'm needed here," answered Norris.
Facing somewhat of an uphill battle taking over during not-so-ideal circumstances, Chief Norris said the focus has to be on the community.
"The meeting of the citizens, the meeting of the business owners, asking what's going on, the problems that they see in the community. How can we fix the problems? Just being an open police department to the public," Norris said.
And by doing that, he said he's confident will turn the police department around.
"I want to see us recognized not for what we were recognized for in the past but as the best department in the state of Florida," Norris said.
Chief Norris also said starting in January he hopes to hold meetings with the public at least once per month.