Of the 50 applicants from across the country for Columbia police chief, 28 meet the minimum requirement of at least a bachelor’s degree, Columbia City Council learned Tuesday.
City Council also moved forward with addressing homelessness.
Seventeen of the 28 police chief candidates have a master’s degree or higher level of education, city manager Teresa Wilson told council members. She said the candidates are from several different states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Six are current police chiefs, and 12 have police chief experience, she said.
The search committee, whose chairman is Robert Bolchoz, a Columbia attorney who ran for state attorney general in 2010 and for City Council in 2012, will meet next on Friday.
Wilson said the selection process is on track, the committee is still screening candidates andthat she anticipates having a new chief in place by March.
In other developments, council also agreed to a formal process to seek input from interested parties on ideas for solutions to Columbia’s ongoing homelessness issues.
The ideas will help council get to the target goals it has already set, said Councilman Cameron Runyan. Those goals are to coordinate the response to poverty with other agencies, bring humanity to the response to poverty, leverage the power of the community in responding to poverty, institutionalize accountability for providers, meet the unique needs of the individual in need and address downtown impacts.
“We need to bring everyone to the table,” Runyan said.
Runyan said the city needs to tap into the aptitude, brain trust, experience and the knowledge in the city to decide what the city’s homeless population needs long-term.
Reach Cope at 803-771-8657 or at www.twitter.com/cassielcope.