February 18, 2014

Updated: 1 of 5 finalists for Columbia police chief’s has withdrawn

One of the five candidates for the Columbia police chief’s job has withdrawn from the search.

One of the five candidates for the Columbia police chief’s job has withdrawn from the search.

Charles Rapp, executive director of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission, had a medical emergency that prevented him from traveling, said Pamela Benjamin, the city’s human resources director.

Rapp sent an email to Benjamin on Monday night, saying “It is with deep regret that I must withdraw from the process. I experienced a medical emergency yesterday and remain under evaluation. I have not been cleared for travel. I am extremely disappointed but I have to resolve this issue before anything else. Good luck on the process it seems that you have some very strong candidates.”

The remaining candidates began their three-day interviews Tuesday by spending the day with Columbia police officers. Each candidate was given a tour of the city’s five police regions and was scheduled to spend time with a department focus group, which included officers at all levels.

The candidates will spend Wednesday meeting with the public. A 21-member community stakeholders committee and a five-member search committee will interview the candidates in the morning and afternoon.

On Wednesday night, the public will get its first look at the candidates during a 6:30 p.m. forum at City Hall.

On the third day, the candidates will interview with Wilson and assistant city manager Allison Baker, who will be their bosses at City Hall.

Wilson said she intends to stick by her goal of having a new chief leading the department by mid-March.

The other four candidates are:

• Tony Fisher, a retired director of the Spartanburg Public Safety Department
• William Holbrook, chief of the Huntington, W. Va., Police Department
• Bryan Norwood, former chief of the Richmond, Va., Police Department
• Gregory Reese, an Air Force colonel who is chief of security forces for Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

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