City appears to be in no rush to find Randy Scott's replacement

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It has been 48 days since former Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott resigned from the job as the city's top cop and city council appears to be in no rush to replace him.

Since Acting Chief Ruben Santiago is handling the chief's duties, the position hasn't been posted anywhere. So where does the process stand?

When Scott stepped down from the chief's position in April, city manager Teresa Wilson talked about her hopes for the replacement process.

"I would hope that we could begin to look at the process over the next 60 days," said Wilson.

The city is looking. Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine says staff brought the issue to council several weeks ago. Council has yet to decide if they'll hire a search firm or just use city resources. Mayor Steve Benjamin says he wants a leader.

"Someone who will recognize the significant strides that have been made and find a way not to just maintain those strides but figure out how to take us to another level," said Benjamin.

When Scott took the top spot, he was already the interim chief, and was the only candidate to apply. Benjamin assure this time it will be different because he wants a nationwide search. He points to numbers that show a 25 percent reduction in aggravated assault and a 60 percent reduction in homicides.

"We're going to take applications from all across this community, all across this state and all across the nation and when you have that kind of a process, you also bring the sunshine and the transparency of including all of your community partners," said Benjamin.

On the city's website, other officer positions have been posted but not one for the chief. South Congaree is also searching for a chief amid an investigation by federal authorities and SLED. Weeks later, their position was posted on Facebook, Craigslist, and several other job boards. Back in Columbia, Council members say they're happy with the job Acting Chief Santiago is doing. As Scott stepped down, Santiago indicated interest in the job.

"I know the city's going to go through a process and they're going to eventually find someone who's going to be more appropriate and deal with what the city needs, whether that's me on someone else and again our goal in public safety is to keep our citizens safe," said Santiago.

Devine told us while the city doesn't need to be in a rush to fill the job, council feels a permanent replacement should be made swiftly.

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