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There is a new partnership between the Columbia Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook announced Friday their gang task forces will be working together out of the same building.

"We don't have one particular area that we can say that is where all the gangs are," said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott they are throughout Richland County throughout the city of Columbia."

There was a formal signing ceremony in the Boozer parking lot complex.

"We realize that our number one challenge in the Columbia area is the gangs," said Lott. "If we can work together we can be so much more effective and have an impact on the problems that we have that deals with gangs."

Chief Holbrook says he is excited about the partnership.

"This agreement allows us to address boundary impediments which the criminals don't pay attention to that."

Lott says since Holbrook became chief of police in April, they have talked daily about better ways to serve the community and keep residents safe. But Lott says this is a partnership not about merging the two deparments as a whole.

"We are just working together. That's all we are doing is just working together. This is not about anybody merging together. It is not about one of us being in charge it is about us working together and we can do that and we are going to be very successful as police chief and I will be successful as the sheriff."

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