Want to be interim police chief? Start writing a letter

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Columbia Interim City Manager John Glascock sent a memo Wednesday seeking candidates interested in becoming the city’s interim police chief.

The memo asked that interested candidates submit a letter to Glascock by 5 p.m. next Wednesday highlighting their background and qualifications.

Glascock is seeking a semipermanent replacement for Ken Burton, who resigned as police chief effective Thursday. Jill Schlude has served as interim chief since Burton was placed on administrative leave with pay Dec. 20.

The memo also states that candidates include their intentions about making positive advances in the following areas:

Unity of staff within the Columbia Police Department as a whole.Implementation of a City Council resolution calling for a transition to community policing.Racial disparities contained in annual vehicle stop reports and what steps, if any, are necessary to become more in line with the city’s demographics.Analysis and review of existing departmental policies with an eye toward officer safety and respect for citizens.

Glascock further mentions that the interim chief must be a leader by example and be able to unite the staff to achieve common goals. The person selected must also be able to make “tough decisions,” have “high visibility in the community” and be accountable to the community, staff and city manager.

Any letters submitted will be reviewed by Human Resources Director Margrace Buckler, City Counselor Nancy Thompson and Glascock.

The review team will then meet with the Columbia Police Officers’ Association to discuss its priorities and comments on the candidates. The candidates will be narrowed to three choices, and second interviews will be conducted, if necessary.

Glascock also wrote in a memo that once a candidate is selected, any relatives or domestic partners of the interim chief that work within the Police Department would have to be reassigned to an open position within another city department, take a temporary leave of absence without pay or be removed from the interim chief’s supervisory authority.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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