Chief’s Check-in: Roll call for more team members 👮

One of our New Year goals at CPD is to continue building relationships in the communities we serve. I believe these relationships are vital as we do our best to serve the needs of all citizens regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, disability + other various circumstances.

By connecting with citizens, we help remove barriers and biases towards police, and increase opportunities for them to partner with us regarding safety issues or crime tips. Through programs like our Front Porch Roll Call – where officers are present to answer questions about community concerns, provide insight on current crime trends + engage with residents – we have worked collaboratively with citizens in all of our regions to continue building successful and long-lasting relationships.

Looking into 2018, I encourage you to come out to a Front Porch Roll Call, or to take the lead and host one at your home.

 

Want to join our team? 👮‍

In #Jobs news, we’re hiring. CPD is looking for the best + brightest candidates that we’ll train to become a law enforcement professional with a progressive, nationally accredited police agency.

Perks:

✔ Excellent starting salary + growth potential

✔ Up to $2,500 bonus for certified officers

✔ Comprehensive benefits (health, vision, dental, vacation + sick leave)

✔ Take-home vehicle + residency bonus for officers residing in city limits

✔ Free employee health clinic (no copay with benefits package)

✔ Free gym membership (MUV Fitness & Drew Wellness Center)

✔ Employee mortgage loan program

✔ Tuition reimbursement + education incentive

Interested? Apply.

In closing, I want to share a quote that I hope you’ll find motivational to get you where you want to be in 2018: “You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.” –Marianne Williamson

Until next time, stay safe!

Skip Holbrook, Police Chief

Chief’s Check-in: Looking back at 2017

Taking a look back at 2017, I’m reminded that police work is a complex profession with multiple missions. We are most often thought of as first responders to criminal activity, but we also work diligently to prevent crime before it occurs. Relationships are the foundation of every aspect of our work.We often find ourselves as negotiators of peace in emotional and potentially volatile situations between individuals.

Many communities only encounter law enforcement officers when they are engaged in enforcement actions after a crime has occurred. In our city, every effort is being made to increase the time police officers have to proactively interact with the public before an incident takes place, not only at the time of an incident.

I believe all successes we achieve in law enforcement – past, present and future – are due to collaboration and partnerships with our community and area law enforcement agencies. Each day we strive to work together to make improvements through the implementation of collaborative, innovative strategies that not only address issues of crime and safety, but also further our communities’ trust and confidence in law enforcement.

As the Chief of the Columbia Police Department, I have been inspired by the willingness of our officers, city officials and community members to take risks of innovation, supporting efforts to improve the department and public safety in general.  As we work to foster even stronger partnerships, I know we can overcome any challenges while ensuring both citizen and officer safety.

I am proud to be a member of this community and honored to serve among the brave men and women of the Columbia Police Department.  I wish you a safe and happy New Year!

–William “Skip” Holbrook

Columbia Police Chief

Chief’s Check-in: (Fun) Q+A with the CPD

Hey, Columbia – Have you played CPD Cloud Talk yet?

It’s our new weekly initiative where we ask you a multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank question on Facebook to help us get to know you better + learn about what you think we should post more often – because we care about what you want to know, and we’re really into being transparent.

The questions range from “Why did you join Facebook?” to “What superhero would you like to be?” For the record, WonderWoman received quite a few votes on that one. 

Join us in CPD Cloud Talk – it’s super easy, and only takes 4 steps:

  1. Read what’s in the cloud
  2. Select a response to fill in the blank
  3. Post your comment with your answer
  4. Like + Share our post

Now, are you ready to start hearing some annual statsI recently came across a Vehicle Crimes Auto Theft Educational Awareness Report that I couldn’t wait to share with you. According to the report, which pulled data from 2015, there are vehicles stolen every 33 seconds and they have connected the fact that violent crime and high impact crime often begins with a stolen vehicle. See the full infographic here.

Let’s play “Have You Ever” to find out if you are taking steps to ensure your vehicle is secured properly:

  1. Have you ever left your vehicle running and unattended?
  2. Have you ever hidden the spare key to your vehicle in your vehicle?
  3. Have you ever forgotten to lock your vehicle?

I’m really hoping you answered “NO” to each of these – and FYI: As many as 50% of stolen cars in 2015 were due to doors being left unlocked.

It takes a few easy steps to help stop vehicle crimes:

REPORT IT – If you see something suspicious, please report it immediately

TAKE IT – Remove all valuables from your vehicle from plain sight (day or night)

LOCK IT – The best way to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle theft is to lock your doors

As it goes with this time of year, I want to remind you to be safe while you’re traveling, shopping or even doing your normal routine. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and follow safety protocols. In addition, this is the time of giving and I encourage you to donate food, clothing or money to those in need of a lift this holiday season.

Stay safe,

-William “Skip” Holbrook, Columbia Police Chief

Chief’s Check-in: Stay safe on All Hallow’s Eve

Hey, Columbia – With Halloween coming up, it’s always exciting for kids (and kids at heart) to get dressed up to attend costume parties, visit haunted houses and go trick-or-treating. Here are six tips to help you have a safe & fun trick-or-treating experience (Download PDF):

 

  1. Plan a route in advance & travel in groups
  2. Stay on sidewalks when possible
  3. Bring a flashlight & stay in well-lit areas
  4. Select well-fitting costumes, shoes & masks to avoid blocked vision and falls
  5. Only go to houses with a porch light on
  6. Sort & check candy when you return home

You may have noticed that temps are dropping and it’s much cooler in the mornings. Given these circumstances, warming up your vehicle may seem like a good idea, but it can make you a target for auto theft. My recommendation is to never leave your vehicle unattended while it’s running. During the “brief” time you are inside the residence, your vehicle could be stolen or vandalized. So even if it means you have to suffer through chilly temps for a few minutes, it’ll be worth it.

Do you have an interest in learning more about incidents of officer-involved shootings, use of force, vehicle pursuits, officer-involved collisions or complaints of misconduct? Check out our Internal Affairs Report. The report is a year in review of our 2016 internal affairs activities, and it includes supporting data + information about the topics listed above.

I want to send a special thank you to everyone that visited our officers at the S.C. State Fair and Five Points Chili Cook-off. We look forward to these annual events and my hope is that you found each interaction welcoming.

-William “Skip” Holbrook, Columbia Police Chief

Chief’s Check-in: MythBusters 4 ThingsYou Need to Know About Policing

Hey, Columbia. Do you ever wonder what things you need to know about policing? Have you heard myths about Miranda warnings or speed traps? If so, take a moment and allow me the chance to dispel a few common myths about policing.

1.Officers must recite Miranda warnings when you are arrested or detained. F A L S E.  

The requirement that Miranda warning be read only applies when police intend to question an individual. If no questioning occurs, the Miranda warning is not required.

2.Officers must be completely visible at all times in order for any traffic citations to be valid. F A L S E.  

Going unnoticed and using radars does not qualify as entrapment. Officers do not tell drivers that it is okay to speed, but they are allowed to catch drivers that do.

3.Officers must fill monthly ticket quotas. F A L S E.  

Targeted enforcement is in locations where we receive complaints, school zones, crime hot spots and high traffic accidents. The Columbia Police Department does not receive revenue from tickets.

4.K-9’s or ‘police dogs’ are aggressive animals. F A L S E. 

K-9’s are trained in multiple skill sets to include tracking, drug detection, criminal apprehension, handler protection, building searches and article searches. They go through many hours of training with their handler to maintain the highest level of proficiency and rarely attack in unprovoked situations.

 

Hopefully, as we continue to provide transparency about our operations, the information will help debunk some of the misconceptions about policing. I encourage citizens to visit our website for the most up-to-date information about our policies, operations and more.

Stay safe until next time.

-William “Skip” Holbrook, Columbia Police Chief

AUG 31, 2017 / COLUMBIA TODAY

Chief’s Check-in: #9PMRoutine

Hey, Columbia – It’s the start of a new school year and I want to remind drivers to slow down, share the road + look out for children – especially when driving in residential areas + school zones. 🍎 We’ll have extra patrols working school zones to help remind drivers to stay alert. Let’s all co-exist safely in school zones.

 

In September, our Code Enforcement Division Inspectors will begin spreading good news to city residents. Inspectors are generally known for providing bad news to residents – and now, they’ll acknowledge + reward activities like placing trash + recycling bins on the curb, removing yard debris and keeping the grass cut with a special thank you note. 📝

Lastly, I’m excited to announce that CPD is launching #9PMRoutine, a new initiative to reduce crimes of opportunity by reminding citizens to lock their car doors + make sure belongings are out of sight at 9 p.m. – a time when many individuals + families are home, preparing for bed. (This is modeled after Florida’s Pasco Sheriff’s Office’s initiative that’s become super popular on Twitter among other police departments nationwide.)

Follow us on Twitter @ColumbiaPDSC to get the #9PMRoutine reminder + share photos of you “locking it up!”

Sincerely,

-William “Skip” Holbrook, Columbia Police Chief

 / COLUMBIA TODAY

Chief’s Check-in: CPD has summer plans and you’re invited

Hey, Cola – We’re now in the swing of the #famouslyhot summer season, and during this time of year, the Columbia Police Department kicks off a bunch of initiatives + programs to build + strengthen our community partnerships. I hope you’ll join us at one of the following events:

🌯 Food Truck Fridays / Annual, bi-monthly series where you can meet + chat with local police officers over some grub from local food trucks at CPD Headquarters (1 Justice Sq.) on July 7 + 21 and August 4.

🔥 Fan the Heat / Kicked off this year on June 1, this annual program has delivered 6,000+ fans and air conditioners during summer to elderly citizens since its inception in June of 1995. You can donate fans, AC units + monetary funds through August 30 – see ColumbiaPD.net for drop-off locations, or drop off donations at Fireflies games and receive $1 off your ticket. ⚾️

Wishing everyone a safe summer in the city,

-William “Skip” Holbrook, Columbia Police Chief