William "Skip" Holbrook sworn in an CPD chief - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

William "Skip" Holbrook sworn in as Columbia's new police chief

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

William "Skip" Holbrook took the oath of office for Columbia police chief Friday morning in front of a packed room at Columbia City Hall.

Chief Holbrook, who categorized his new job as "a professional opportunity of a lifetime," said he's ready to get to work and make city staff and residents proud of the department.

"It was clear that the officers want their organization to be the best," said Holbrook following the swearing-in and pinning of the stars ceremony. "I'm proud to be your police chief."

Holbrook emerged as Columbia's top cop after a search that pitted him against roughly 50 other applicants. The 49-year-old comes to Columbia from Huntington, WV, where he spent seven years as chief of police. Before that, he spent much of his law enforcement career in North Carolina.

"We have a tremendous staff, tremendous police officers, and we have a community that is so engaged and cares so much about success," said Holbrook. "It was clear that the officers want their organization to the be the best and the citizens want to be our partner in building a safe and thriving city."

"I look forward to working with everyone to make Columbia Police Department the best it can possibly be," said Holbrook. "A world class police force serving a world class city."

Holbrook again spoke of his strategic plan and 90-day action plan for the department.

"As we identify the needs of our public, those plans are going to be fully developed into documents.," said Holbrook. "We'll determine the direction that we need to head for the police department to reach the highest standards of excellence."

The new chief said officers will have input into the strategic plan.

"Crime analysis is going to be a catalyst of intelligence-led policing," said Holbrook. "We're going to put the resources and the cops where they need to be."

"I'm very committed to operational transparency in everything that we do in the Columbia Police Department," said Holbrook. "At the Columbia Police Department there will be a standard of excellence and integrity like never before."

"I'll never ask any of you to do anything that I won't do or haven't done." said Holbrook, who pledged to be approachable and participatory. "The chief must have vision and lead by example."

"It's time to get to work," concluded Holbrook.

Following Holbrook's remarks, Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins shared the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and a word of advice before leading the room in prayer.

"There has been turmoil, there has been disappointment, there has been heartbreaks, but you bring a new vision and new leadership," said Jenkins. "This is a great police department, very great."

"And I said all of that to say this, because your vision is to move forward," said Jenkins. "My challenge is to all of us, the police department, don't look back."

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