Exclusive: Holbrook Speaks About Vision for City

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia's next top cop was in town Thursday for a meet and greet with residents and also spoke exclusively with News19.

"The best part of the job is being a policeman, I love it that is what I am driven to do, I love working side by side with courageous policemen," said Skip Holbrook.

Holbrook, Columbia's Next Police chief says it was a major decision to leave his hometown as sheriff but says he's a man that likes a challenge and believes Columbia was a good fit for him and his family.

He says Columbia and Huntington, West Virginia, where he currently lives - are a lot alike.

"We've got to prevent and educate on the front end. We also need to address re-entry and people that are going to re-offend. If we can get a positive affect on that then that is one less criminal that we will have to deal with."

When asked about how to combat gang violence he says it's all about strategy and cutting the problem off at the top.

"Groups that conspire and plan to commit crime and victimize a community, that's organized crime and gang activity and the way you approach that is that you cut the head of the snake off. You have to be strategic in policing and identify the ones that are repeat offenders and are subjected to the most serious sentences because of their criminal histories and we have to identify those and target those."

Retention has been a problem within the Columbia Police Department and Holbrook says that morale is a big part of that. He says change has to start at the top.

Holbrook says friends would say he's very passionate about his job. They'd also say he is also a big sports fan; he even played baseball for Marshall University.

"Hopefully the other Holbrook can be associated with success just like the baseball Holbrook has been."

He started his career in the Tar Heel State, then in West Virginia he followed SEC ball with the nearby Kentucky Wildcats; now he bleeds garnet and black.

"This is home for me, my team is Gamecock baseball and my team is Gamecock Football, are you kidding me you think I am going to tell you something different? We are all in."

Holbrook says he will work hard to remove the dark cloud that's been over the department and most importantly give the residents a chief that is here for the long run.

"We are so looking forward to become a part of the fabric of this community."


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