Columbia’s police chief search committee holds first meeting

nophillips@thestate.comDecember 17, 2013 

TRACY GLANTZ — tglantz@thestate.com Buy Photo

COLUMBIA, SC The city’s police chief search committee met Monday to begin reviewing applications.

The committee, along with City Manager Teresa Wilson, is trying to winnow the 49 applications into a pool of candidates who will be invited next month for interviews. The committee will meet again in early January to continue its work, according to a press release from the city’s public relations office.

Robert Bolchoz, the search committee’s chairman, was quoted as saying, "We were very comfortable with the quality and quantity of the applications that we received. The field of candidates are diverse and experienced and the committee was pleased with the pool of applicants.”

Those comments come after Mayor Steve Benjamin questioned Wilson’s decision to conduct the search with internal resources instead of hiring an outside firm. The mayor’s questioning came on the eve of the application deadline.

Wilson stood by her decision but said she would consider a national search firm if the pool of applicants was void of qualified candidates.

Wilson has promised an open, transparent search with plenty of community involvement. Monday’s meeting was held in closed session, which is allowed by state law.

The city will be required to list the names of its finalists before making its hiring decision.

Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.

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