A Melbourne police officer was arrested early Thursday morning after he offered a prostitute $40 for sex while he was on-duty, the agency announced.
Officer Shawn C. Archbold was immediately suspended without pay from the agency at the time of his arrest.
The Melbourne Police Department became aware of an allegation that Archbold was engaging in this activity four months ago.
Melbourne Police Chief Steve Mimbs immediately launched an investigation using undercover officers to determine if the allegations were true. The allegations were confirmed Wednesday night when Archbold was driving a marked patrol car and began talking to what turned out to be a decoy informant posing as a prostitute.
Archbold, 27, was immediately arrested by Melbourne police officers. He was taken to the Brevard County Detention Center.
The agency is currently working through the due process to terminate Archbold's employment with the Melbourne Police Department.
"We are taking appropriate action to ensure this type of behavior won't be tolerated," Mimbs said at Thursday's news conference. "And will be dealt with."
Tammie Tucker, who owns a business in South Melbourne, said she doesn't think Archbold's actions were "a good example of police conduct."
"He's put a lot of things at risk: his job, his career, the integrity of others," said Tucker, who claims she talked to Archbold often because her business was in the area where the police officer patrolled.
Mimbs said he's OK with weeding out bad apples and that the Archbold incident isn't a representation of the agency.
"I don't believe this is a representation of the work that the men and women of this department do every day," Mimbs said.
Archbold has since bonded out of jail.
This incident comes on the heels of two Melbourne Police Department detectives receiving suspensions for drinking during a January undercover prostitution sting at an area hotel.
Mimbs said the agency is hiring an outside firm to look into departmental procedures.