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CPD interim chief wants to bring ‘authenticity,’ ‘humility’ to post

Columbia’s new interim police chief said he wants to bring authenticity and humility to the position.

“As far as secrets are concerned, those are a thing of the past,” Jones said.

The interim chief, elevated to the post last Tuesday, sat down to talk about his vision for the department. That includes addressing communication issues within the department, making decisions as transparent as possible and efforts to bring community-oriented policing department-wide.

Jones, who officially started the job on Sunday, said the command staff would lead the way. Command staff members, including himself, the deputy chief, three assistant chiefs and two patrol lieutenants, would all be required to work at least four hours of patrol a month. Jones said he also wanted to be present and available to officers working at the headquarters.

“There are no secrets anymore. If an officer gets a question, they get an answer, unless it’s personnel related,” Jones said.

Jones also wants citizen committees to help review information and give the department guidance on different aspects of CPD. That includes a review of department policies and racial disparities in traffic stops.

Jones called himself a “student of policing,” and hoped the process would help officers learn more, as well as help the community learn more about the trade.

“I think collectively, we have a lot of the answers,” Jones said. “As the community, as the police, as we work together, we have a lot of the answers. But we have to be humble and realize it may not be our answer.”

Jones said he wanted the committees to come together sometime this month.

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