COLUMBIA, SC — Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott described his brief retirement as “the longest 15 days of my life” Tuesday as he was sworn in for his second tenure.
Scott retired Dec. 31 because of changes in the state retirement system. He was forced to sit out for 15 days and then re-apply for his job. He was one of two candidates for the $122,200 per year job.
Mayor Steve Benjamin held a Bible as City Judge Dana Turner led Scott in his oath of office. After the quick swearing-in, Scott took the opportunity to deliver a pep talk to the nearly 100 of the department’s 400 officers who attended.
He reviewed progress the department has made since he took over in October 2010 as interim chief. He cited the department’s hiring spree that filled 115 officer positions, an emphasis on intelligence and crime analysis, and focused policing in Five Points as among his accomplishments.
Scott also praised officers, often calling them by name as described accomplishments. He said the amount of public complaints about rude and abusive officers was abysmal and thanked the force for bringing those complaints down.
“You have a choice,” Scott said. “A choice to work at the city of Columbia Police Department or a choice to work for another department. I can tell you one thing about each officer in attendance that makes the department shine.”
Mayor Steve Benjamin also encouraged Scott and his officers “to keep up the good work. Stay engaged with us.
“We’ll continue to be in your corner every single day.”
Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.