Police Chief Search Down to Two Candidates

Columbia, SC (WLTX) – Wednesday night Councilman Cameron Runyan withdrew his proposal to merge the Columbia Police Department with the Richland County Sheriffs Department.

This close to naming a new police chief most council members say they didn't expect to be called to a special meeting to discuss the possibility of consolidating law enforcement agencies.

"I do have a problem with the fact that we are sitting here and having to discuss this," said Councilman Sam Davis.

One by one city council members put all their cards on the table as they discussed why the Columbia Police Department should not merge with Richland County... and voiced opposition to Runyan's press conference calling for the merger.

"None of us need to go out on our own on a particular topic and really cause this kind of stir when this council has not had the opportunity to discuss it," said Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine.

"I know I've been frustrated a lot of times but I have never gone out on my own to separate myself from the pack, you don't do that, that's not politics that's not the way you play this game," said Davis.

Runyan withdrew his proposal and apologized for some of his actions during council meetings. He called for all members to move forward and use civility and respect for one another.

"If I'm in I'm in all the way and that could lead me to a position where that can lead me into a position where sometimes where maybe my mouth gets ahead of my brain," said Runyan.

City manager Teresa Wilson says this discussion has also caused some of the police chief candidates to ask her about the status of the process.

"A few of them have expressed that they wanted clarification, is this process continuing, is there something I need to know," said Wilson.

Moving forward, former Spartanburg Police Chief, Tony Fisher withdrew from the race narrowing the finalist to two.

Wilson says out of respect for the candidates families she is not saying who the final two are.

"I think all will be revealed soon, I don't have any comment about Mr. Fisher, I think he was certainly a worthy candidate but obviously people have to make decisions that are in their best interest."

Wilson says the final two will be in town Friday to have a public safety meeting with local law enforcement and will name a new chief sometime next week.


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