Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook apparently lacks confidence in his officers’ abilities and training. He recently argued that allowing the public to carry guns in the open and without licenses “will significantly complicate police interactions with citizens, resulting in many unintended consequences” (“Open-carry law makes our job harder,” May 22). In the many states that allow open carry, police manage to do their jobs competently and efficiently.
If Columbia police were asked about their concerns, I suspect they would rank open carry far below officials who are more concerned with politicking than ensuring officers have the training, equipment and support necessary to do their jobs well.
Instead of spreading baseless fears founded on inaccurate assumptions, Chief Holbrook should ensure his officers receive high-quality training and equipment and hire highly qualified officers whose priority is to serve the community. If he were to do so, I’m confident he would discover they can and will take open carry in stride. If officers in most of the country can do it, there’s no reason Columbia’s police can’t as well.