Skip to Content

Columbia holds community forum for Columbia Police Chief Search

Columbia is in search of a new police chief and are hopes to get the community's opinion along the way.

On Saturday, Columbia held a community forum at the ARC on Ash Street, where residents were able to meet and speak directly with a consultant from Public Sector Search & Consulting, who the city hired to help with the search.

At the meeting residents in attendance were asked a series of questions like what they hope the new Chief brings for the department and what qualities they hope to see in a new Police Chief.

That profile would then be used in the search for police chief candidates, according to the city.

At the meeting residents like Pamela Hardin expressed the need for a Chief who's department interacts with the community.

"It makes such a difference when I can look at you and know you and then I can feel comfortable enough to tell you when there is situations going on or to be able to speak to you when a situation has occurred and you're looking for information." Hardin said.

Attendees also spoke about the burdens officers feel on the job and want to see a chief who is willing to collaborate with other organizations that can help officers in the field.

Once the meeting ended community members like Herb Watchinski felt heard.

"The impression I leave with, is the moderator was listening, taking copious notes and that hopefully they'll go back and act on them and use them as a guiding light if you would, during their search." Watchinski said.

It was shared at the meeting that the city will have the opportunity to view everyone that applies.

Jones was appointed CPD's Police Chief in 2019, and announced his retirement in June. His last day will be August 1st.

In a news release at the time, Jones said he was thankful to have been given the opportunity to lead and learn from such driven and passionate people who work at Columbia Police Department.

In the meantime, Columbia officials said Matt Stephens will serve as the interim police chief for the Columbia Police Department beginning July 31.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content