Barry’s thoughts on police chief candidates

A couple of days ago, our own Barry emailed me his thoughts about the finalists for the job of Columbia police chief. I just now noticed that he said “yes” to my request for permission to post his observations here. He based these thoughts on this story from WIS:

Tony Fisher looks like a good choice- but he’s 64 years old and he retired last year after a long career in Spartanburg.   Not sure someone that age needs to be brought in to head up a headache of a job in Columbia.

William Holbrook –   Columbia is almost 3 times bigger than Huntington, West Virginia.   Huntington is 90% white.  Columbia is 51% per 2012 estimated census data.  Doesn’t look like a great fit.

Bryan Norwood – resigned as Richmond Police Chief amid pressure. For some reason, he also personally supervised the probation conditions of R & B Singer Chris Brown. (Very odd that a police chief would do that – and folks were very critical of it).      We really don’t need someone that just had to quit somewhere else because of problems.

Charles Rapp-  very impressive credentials (Baltimore police department veteran, hostage negotition team leader, training academy director, led 2 precincts, has a masters from Johns Hopkins) – but same thing as Tony Fisher- looks like someone that would only be able to serve a few years due to his age- which I couldn’t find.

Gregory Reese –  Air Force experience- but hasn’t led a city department.  He led a large group  – 1600 people- but I see not having led a city department as something that would hurt him.

For further info, here’s the story that ran in The State.

14 thoughts on “Barry’s thoughts on police chief candidates

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    I have heard from knowledgeable law enforcement personnel that we must be wary of people just looking to top off their retirement accounts, and it looks like we have at least two of those.

    Why was Ruben passed over?

    1. Mark Stewart

      The retires are not what Columbia needs; no matter what their credentials.

      Not a great pool of contenders – and this is the final cut? Columbia looks like it’s reputation precedes it…

      Kathryn, are you expressing surprise Ruben was not included in the candidate pool; or are you asking why, specifically, he was not considered for the “permanent” position?

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        He was in the final dozen, but, inexplicably from the perspective of many of us who have dealt with him, did not make the final five….and these are the final five….

  2. Mark Stewart

    Leon Lott is looking like the solution.

    Columbia should jettison the PD onto Richland County and take control of joint Fire and Planning entities in return. Sounds like a fair trade to me…

        1. barry

          I don’t see Matthews as a big showboat like some claim. He was at one time when he assumed office- but part of that was the fact he had a lot of work to do and he wanted to send a message to everyone.

          I honestly don’t hear much from him other than when I read the short little weekly crime report he writes for the local newspaper.

    1. Ralph Hightower

      I don’t think that Leon would put up with the manglement (intentionally misspelled) in CPD affairs by city manager, Teresa Wilson, and City Council.

      City government buys credit in former chief Randy Scotts retirement so that he could retire and then he hitches another job with Richland County Sheriff. I think that the retirement system, Police Officers Retirement System, that South Carolina offers for law enforcement is portable between employers, so Scott wouldn’t have to worry about losing his retirement going between Richland County to Columbia, then back to Richland County. Columbia got snookered in that deal.

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