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Columbia Citizens Police Review Board discusses continued hiring process for new chief

The outside of the City Hall in downtown Columbia

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB) discussed the continued hiring process for the city's new police chief at its meeting Wednesday night.

The CPRB's has decided to participate in creating a criteria list to narrow down what qualifications that City Manager De'Carlon Seewood should look for when it comes to deciding the next police chief.

The board decided specific and narrowed down traits that the next police chief should exemplify:

  1. Integrity in ethics
  2. Strong leadership and communication skills
  3. Engagement in community and relationship building
  4. Cultural competence and diversity awareness
  5. Adaptability and innovation
  6. Commitment to continuous improvement

The Board will give this list of recommendations to the Columbia City Council and City Manager, De'Carlon Seewood to take into consideration.
One city official says one of these traits has stood out to the community the most.

"We've continually heard from residents and one we've talking about internally is communication," city spokesperson Sydney Olsen said. "Transparency is really important to our citizens. They want to know what's going on and how we're handling issues as they arise."

Olsen says it's also important for the city to look into how the new police chief will help the city internally.

"We're also looking for someone who can bring in new ideas for things like recruitment and retaining the employees that we already have," Olsen said.

The city of Columbia announced four finalists for the position on Monday. Candidates include Nathaniel Clark, former public safety director and chief of police in Forest Park, Georgia; Dan Haley, a major in the Kansas City, Missouri, Human Resources Division; Jill Schulde, assistant police chief in Columbia; and Michael Zeller, deputy police chief in Greeley, Colorado.

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, the city of Columbia will hold a forum for community members to attend. Candidates will answer questions previously submitted by citizens.

Although citizens cannot ask live questions during the forum, they can ask candidates questions during the informal meet and greet that will happen before the forum.

On Thursday, Oct. 19, a panel will interview the four candidates to determine if they are a good fit for the job. Members of the CPRB have been invited to take part in the forum and interview panels.

A few of the interview panelists will consist of CPRB members, Reece Ellis and Doug Hunt.

The city hopes to have a final decision on a candidate for police chief in mid-November.

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