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Application portal for Columbia police chief search to close; new chief expected to be picked by November


The City of Columbia's search for a new police chief continues as the application process comes to an end.

The city hired Public Sector Search and Consulting to search for a new chief after Geoff Jones retired from the position on Aug. 1. Matt Stephens was named the interim chief.

The city suggested candidates apply by Monday, though the application is open on the consulting firm's website, which says it closes Wednesday.

City spokeswoman Sydney Olsen said the city is on track to fill the position by November.

"A big next step for our community members to get involved again, is our community forum for October 18 at City Hall," Olsen said.

At the Forum, community members will have the opportunity to hear from the candidates as they are asked questions formulated by community input.

On the application page, it says the ideal candidate will, "be a servant leader with impeccable integrity and advanced communication skills." It also said, "a person who is genuine, personable, welcoming and humble in all facets of their interactions."

The proposed starting salary for the position ranges from $122,482-$188,682.

Requirements include:

  • At least three years of management experience in law enforcement, or substantive training and education in management and education of management and administration.
  • A bachelor's degree in criminal justice, police administration, or a related field.

According to the job posting, the department has a budget of $31 million that is used in part to pay 191 sworn and 57 professional staff.

The Citizens Police Review Board discussed the city's hiring process during its Wednesday night meeting, and what they would like to see from the new chief.

"I'm looking for someone who is sensitive to that, who is not hostile to any of those interests, and who is willing to bring them in when they're trying to make a police department that's supposed to work for all of us," Chairman Reece Ellis said.

The board also discussed its police policy event that is scheduled for Thursday. The event is set to discuss the department's use-of-force policy and body-worn camera policies.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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