The man who almost became Prince Georges County's chief of police last year is looking for another job.

James R. Taylor, who was Prince George's County executive Lawrence J. Hogan's First Choice for the county's police chief job -- and was later rejected by the county council -- resigned on Wednesday as head of the 85-man Petersburg, Va. police force.

Taylor cited philosophical differences with Petersburg city officials as the reason for his resignation, which becomes effective on July 25.

It was only seven months ago that Taylor appeared before the Prince George's County Council as County Executive Hogan's choice to replace retired Police Chief John W. Rhoads Taylor was selected after a six-month nationwide search, but his nomination became embroiled in controversy and was defeated 8 to 3 by the Prince George's county council.

Taylor's nomination was opposed by such civic groups as the local chapter of the NAACP; as well as the local Fraternal Order of Police Union. Hogan subsequently nominated senior aide John E. McHale Jr., who was confirmed by the County council for the job.

Taylor was also a controversial figure in Petersburg from the time he took the job in February, 1978. He is said to have no firm job prospects, but has applied to a number of other police departments in recent months.

Asked yesterday whether Prince George's would make Taylor another job offer, one of county executive Hogan's senior aides remarked: "If he contacted us, we'd certainly be interested in looking at him."

Taylor, reached yesterday in Petersburg, said he "might be interested in Prince George's again if something could be worked out."