Sources Identify William Holbrook as Top CPD Chief Candidate

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - William Holbrook, who sources say is the top candidate to become the next police chief, has served as chief in Huntington, West Virginia for 7 years.

"It's not all about arrests, its about identifying the problems and solving problems," said Holbrook, in a forum last month.

Sources say he is the City Manager's top pick and while he has served as police chief in Huntington, crime has reached a 27-year low.

Teresa Wilson says the pick is someone that can help remove the dark cloud over the department.

"Our community and our officers are looking for some stability and a level of leadership and integrity that you can tell when he walks in the room," said Wilson.

The search for a new chief has been a rocky one and included a SLED investigation of former Interim Chief Ruben Santiago.

Santiago would have transitioned to deputy chief when a new one was named but that came to a halt when he announced his resignation.

Related Coverage: Interim Columbia Police Chief Resigns

The search also consisted of several finalists dropping out. Wilson says her top pick is someone who can make an easy transition to the Midlands.

"He is in a situation where he has really moved a community forward from a law enforcement perspective. There is also some similarities to the position that I feel we are in now, where there may have been a lack of leadership and he has really turned the law enforcement agency around to be nationally recognized."

She says the new chief will have to build strong relationships with officers, work with neighboring agencies as well as focusing on keeping crime low.

In the meantime Major Melron Kelly will serve as acting chief.

"I am the major of the operations division which is basically day-to-day operations of the police department. I oversee all uniform services as well as gang units and narcotics so I am pretty much in touch with the pulse of the department," said Kelly.

Wilson will name the new chief sometime next week.


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