General Questions

Where do I go to file a police report or to add information to my existing report?

In-person: CPD Headquaters, 1 Justice Square, Columbia, SC 29201 – Visit the Telephone Response Unit front desk

Online: Submit a police report at https://columbiapd.net/submit-a-police-report/.

Who do I call for non-emergencies?

Call 803-252-2911 for non emergency related incidents.

Who do I contact if I locked my keys in my vehicle?

The Columbia Police Department will respond to vehicle lock-outs if it is an emergency situation.  If a non-emergency situation, you need to contact a locksmith or towing service.

Does CPD handle eviction notices and civil processing?

The Columbia Police Department does not handle eviction notices and civil processing. This type of request should be submitted to your local Sheriff’s office or Magistrate office for assistance.

What are the hours of operation for the Property Room?

The Evidence/Property Unit is located at 715 Bluff Road, Columbia, SC 29201. The hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday *except on holidays.

Residential Rental Permit & Housing Regulations

When do I need a Residential Rental Permit and where do I get it?

A residential rental permit is required for all residential rental units in the City of Columbia.

If an owner resides in the unit or if the unit is under a written contract to be bought by the occupant, a permit is not required.

The Code Enforcement Division reserves the right to request documentation to support any exemptions.

Either the owner of the property or a local agent can apply for the permit. The local agent can be a Professional Management Company. Any outstanding fees owed to the City must be paid prior to issuance of the permit. Both the owner and the designated local agent must sign the application.

A rental permit is $25 a year per unit. However, if you have a business license as a Professional Management Company, the fee for the permit is waived. *Please provide a copy of your business license with the application.

The rental permit application is available at https://columbiapd.net/residential-rentals/ or for pick up at the Code Enforcement Division, 1136 Washington Street.

The permit is good for one year from the date of issuance. If you have a specific date that you would like the permit to renew each year, we can set it to expire on that date and prorate any permit fee associated with it.

Is a rental permit required for each rental unit?

A residential rental permit is required for each rental unit. The applications are designed to allow you to apply for as many permits as needed on one application. Please provide a separate self-checklist for each unit or request a courtesy inspection of the units by one of our inspectors. For structures with 5 or more units you may submit 1 checklist per structure certifying that all units within that structure meet the minimum safety standards.

If a family member lives in the rental unit, is a rental permit required?

If any person is paying rent, paying utilities or other fees, or similar in-kind services to the owner of the property, a permit is required.  

I have a Business License; Do I still need a rental permit?

Yes. A rental permit is required for all residential rental units in the City of Columbia even if you have a business license and/or are a Professional Management Company. However if you have a business license as a Professional Management Company the fee for the permit is waived. Please provide a copy of your business license with the application. Please note that a business license is required for anyone who owns or manages 5 or more rental units.  

Is a Professional Management Company required for a rental unit?

No. A local agent is required within 45 miles of the City of Columbia. The local agent can be a relative or a friend that you designate to take responsibility of the property and serve as our primary contact.

Code Enforcement

What constitutes an overgrown lot and who do I contact?

Weeds and plant growth, including grasses, annual plants and vegetation greater than 12 inches in height on average are in violation. Trees, shrubs, cultivated flowers and gardens are excluded. To report a violation, please call 803-545-3430.

What are the requirements for using roll carts?

All roll carts shall be placed at the curbside by 8:00 AM and removed from curbside by 7:30 PM on the day of collection. To report a violation, please call 803-545-3430.

What happens when abandoned cars – license plate expired, are on home owners property or abandoned on street?

No inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicle shall be parked, kept or stored on any premises, and no vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled. To report a violation on private property, please call 803-545-3430 or the City Police Department for vehicles parked on the street at 803-545-3500.

Can vehicles be parked in my front yard?

No person shall park a vehicle of any description, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, vans, buses, motorcycles, all-terrain or similar off-road vehicles, recreational vehicles, motor homes, campers or camping trailers, trailers, boats, and jet skis within the front yard of any property used for residential purposes except upon an improved surface. An improved surface is a parking space and/or driveway that shall be paved with asphalt, brick, concrete, or covered with previous material such as crushed stone, gravel, or mulch. Parking spaces and driveway shall not occupy an area greater than 40 percent of the primary front yard or 500 square feet within the primary front yard, whichever area is greater. For more information or to report a violation, please call 803-545-3333.

What do I do about a house in extreme disrepair?

The exterior of a structure shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and sanitary so as not to pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare. The interior of a structure and equipment therein shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and in a sanitary condition. Occupants shall keep that part of the structure and premises which they occupy or control in a clean and sanitary condition. To report a violation, please call 803-545-3430.

Fingerprinting

Can I get fingerprinted at CPD and what documents do I need?

Yes. Fingerprinting is ONLY available for Chauffer’s License, Name Changes, Challenges to Identity, Financial Institution employees and Concealed Weapon’s Permits at Columbia Police Department Headquarters, 1 Justice Square, Columbia, SC29201.

The following documents are required:

  1. A valid (non-expired) government issued photo identification card must be presented before fingerprinting.
  2. Fingerprint Cards.

What are the hours of operation for being fingerprinted?

Monday & Thursday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Wednesday & Friday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

What are the fees for fingerprinting and what forms of payment are accepted?

The fee is $15.00 for regular fingerprint cards.

Cash & Checks are accepted *checks can only be used by residents of Richland County)

Records Unit

During what hours can I pick up a report from the Records Department?

Records Unit Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. *except holidays

What documents are required to obtain a report?

  1. To obtain a copy of a report you must bring in a valid (non-expired) government issued photo ID and payment.
  2. A case number is very helpful as well.

What is the cost of acquiring various reports?

We ONLY accept cash and checks as forms of payment for reports.

Incident reports for victims are free
All other reports are $3.00

Recruiting

Is the Columbia Police Department currently hiring and what are the requirements?

Yes. The City of Columbia is continually searching for qualified applicants to fill entry-level Police Officer positions. Because of increasing staff levels, transfers, and retirements, the Columbia Police Department usually has at least one Police Officer vacancy at any given time. Applications accepted on a continuous basis, and the most qualified are selected to participate in the hiring process. Those not selected remain on file with the Human Resources Department.

You can attach a copy of your college degree or a copy of your college transcript. A college degree can be used in place of a high school diploma.

You will need copies of the following documents:

Driver’s License
Social Security Card
Government issued Birth Certificate
High School Diploma or GED
Proof of citizenship if you are a naturalized citizen
10 year driving record (if you have a South Carolina Driver’s License)
10 year driving record from your home state or any state you had a driver’s license in the last 10 years
Copy of a Credit report issued from Equifax, Experian or Transunion.

 

Requirements:

Must be a U.S. citizen.
Must be 21 years of age (birth certificate required).
Must have a high school diploma or equivalent (documentation required).
Must have a valid S.C. driver’s license with a good driving record.
Must not have committed or been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor
Must be in good physical health.Visit https://columbiapd.net/qualifications/ for more details on qualifications.

What are the minimum requirements to be a Columbia Police Officer?

  1. Must be a U.S. citizen.
  2. Must be 21 years of age (birth certificate required).
  3. Must have a high school diploma or equivalent (documentation required).
  4. Must have a valid S.C. driver’s license with a good driving record.
  5. Must not have committed or been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor
  6. Must be in good physical health.Visit https://columbiapd.net/qualifications/ for more details on qualifications.

What benefits are offered by the Columbia Police Department?

The City of Columbia offers health, vision, dental, vacation & sick leave benefits. Shown below is an example of these benefits.

  1. Ten paid holidays per year
  2. Sick leave accrued at a rate of 8.5 hours per month
  3. Fifteen calendar days per year to fulfill military obligations (military leave)
  4. Tuition reimbursement program
  5. Vacation leave, accrued according to time in service: One through five years of continuous service – 85.0 hours per year; six through 20 years continuous service – 8.5 hours additional per year – maximum: 212.5 hours

How does the selection process work?

Please visit https://columbiapd.net/selection-process/ to learn more about the selection process.

Is there anything that will automatically disqualify me?

Yes, If you have any criminal convictions misdemeanor or felony you need not apply. Also, unless there is an extenuating circumstance any suspension of your driving privilege is a disqualifier. Any DUI within 10 years is an automatic disqualifier.

How long does my application remain on file?

Your application will remain active for one year. If you are not selected, you may reapply and be reconsidered.