Too bad. He sounds like the kind of chief the city could have used

Busy day today, but I didn’t want it to pass completely without saying a word about this:

COLUMBIA, SC — A candidate for Columbia police chief on Wednesday leveled tough criticism toward city officials as he withdrew from the search….

In an interview with The State newspaper, Fisher said the city lacked consistency within its leadership and questioned why interim Chief Ruben Santiago remained on the job after being the target of a federal and state investigation.

But Fisher stopped short of calling the city dysfunctional.

“In my close to 40 years in law enforcement, I’ve had the fortune to work in a cohesive, visionary environment where all seem to have the same goals – the politicians and the professionals,” Fisher said. Columbia “could have been a challenge for me.”

The selection process had been “laborious and indeterminate,” Fisher said.

He also indicated that the frequency with which City Council discusses merging the police and sheriff’s departments was a concern. Those conversations affect the entire organization, he said.

“There is no consistency in leadership and expectations,” Fisher said….

This is too bad. A chief who came into office with his eyes this wide open might have had a chance of succeeding. I say “might” because anyone who works — indirectly — for a city manager who in turn works for seven very divided bosses is highly likely to fail.

Columbia is increasingly dysfunctional under this system that the political elite managed to maneuver the voters into keeping. And it’s getting worse day by day. Anybody with clear vision is likely to run the other way rather than take this job…

9 thoughts on “Too bad. He sounds like the kind of chief the city could have used

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    What, somebody nearing mandatory retirement age, who held his tongue until it was clear he was not a finalist? The recordings have been public for a couple of weeks, yet he did not speak until the city manager returned from travel to investigate finalists?

    I did find the special council meeting encouraging. Everyone said the right things about the need to restore collegiality/civility to city politics, as well as proper procedure. Let’s make sure they remember this!

    1. Juan Caruso

      This topic is more entertaining than usual.

      Given the backgrounds of the three candidates described in your linked article from “The State”, the public should soon know one of two things for certain:

      1. How dumb the newspaper thinks the public is after describing the 3 remaining candidates and telling us that 2 of them are finalists [We can figure out the 2 finalists from the info given], or;

      2. How dumb the City of Columbia is if it selects this one who was “…chief of security forces for the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, where he is responsible for 2,000 officers. He is a 23-year Air Force veteran with experience as chief of four military police departments. Has a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina” [Not a good CIVILIAN fit].

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