Columbia to release names of police chief candidates Wednesday

Monday, January 5, 2009 | 10:02 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The names and background of the five candidates for Columbia's new police chief are expected to be released Wednesday, according to a news release from the city.

Columbia had planned to name a new police chief by Jan. 1, but the date was pushed back because of the winter holidays.

The candidates will be in town on Jan. 12 and 13 for interviews and events to familiarize themselves with the city, the release stated.

On Jan. 12, the public will have the opportunity to hear the candidates make personal statements and respond to questions posed in an open session in the City Council chambers at 701 E. Broadway.

The five candidates will each have the chance to speak for 30 minutes beginning at 1:15 until 4:45 p.m. with 15 minute breaks in between each speaker.

The session will be broadcast live and then rebroadcast several times on the City Channel (Mediacom Channel 13; Charter Channel 2; CenturyTel Channel 401).

Following the session, the public is invited to meet the candidates at an informal round-table reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Activities and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St. Feedback forms will be available for those who want to record their opinions.

In addition, the candidates will interview with the citizen committee appointed to advise City Manager Bill Watkins, tour Columbia, meet with Police Department command staff and officers and tour the police facilities. They will also meet with senior city staff and interview with the city manager.

The city has been searching for a permanent police chief since Chief Randy Boehm's retirement in June 2008. Capt. Tom Dresner has served as interim chief since then.

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