Santiago: "I feel like I should've known something."


By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- "We are talking about my teacher, my mentor," says Ruben Santiago, Interim Police Chief of the Columbia Police Department.

Santiago says Chief Randy Scott's resignation last week is one he did not see coming.

"It's definitely a big surprise. A part of me, I really, I feel like I should've known something. But, I just never had any indication that anything was going on," says Santiago.

Santiago, now once again at the helm of the Columbia Police Department, delivered the news to other officers.

"My job, just like any good leader would do is to sit down with the command staff, give them your perspective on things, give them what's expected of them and what the requirements are that you will be expecting from them and kind of set a tone for how the command staff will work," says Santiago

He says the rumors surrounding Scott's exit are affecting the department.

"Anytime that you here stories and rumors going around about the Columbia Police Department in the public. It's going to be , it's going to be very sensitive," says Santiago

But, he says, they are moving forward in hopes of gaining on an already record-breaking year.

Across the board, crime is down in Columbia. Homicides are down by 100% and in many cases crime is at its lowest level in two years. Overall violent crime is down by 30%.

The department credits much of the results to "Intelligence-led policing."

"It's amazing when you look at some of these graphics, because you can actually see where crime is moving and almost anticipate it," says Santiago

He is also ready to implement "Predictive Policing," which uses crime data to predict and identify crime patters and behavior with certain areas.

All of this, Santiago says, he hopes will help the department continue to keep the streets of Columbia safe.

As ABC Columbia News has previously reported, the City of Columbia is currently conducting a national search for the next police chief. Santiago says if he is offered the job he will gladly accept it, but if not he will still stay at the Columbia Police Department and support the next Chief.
Current: 56°
High: 56°
Low: 52°
Wind: 7 MPH
Pressure: 30.06
Humidity: 84 %

What's on WOLOTV Full Schedule