CPD Insiders Name Holbrook as Top Chief Candidate

Final decision expected any day now

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By Monique Williams

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) -- City of Columbia officials say the announcement on its next chief of police will come sometime this week. However, while they are remaining tight-lipped on the identity of the top candidate, Columbia Police Department insiders aren't.

Local law enforcement insiders tell ABC Columbia News William Holbrook, the current chief for the Huntington Police Department in West Virginia, is not only the top candidate, but also that he has been made an offer to be the City of Columbia's next police chief.

While city manager Teresa Wilson did confirm Friday that she has selected a top candidate, she has not publicly identified the person, citing an employment offer has not been finalized. But, in February, she told ABC Columbia News that, in addition to a seasoned professional, a big factor in her decision would be longevity of the new hire.

"I'm looking for a firm individual who can command the respect of his officers and lead them and brings the goal of making Columbia home for the duration, some longevity," said Wilson last month.

Holbrook, who was reportedly in town Friday meeting with heads of other local and state law enforcement agencies, directly addressed that concern last month during his final push to city council members and the public on reasons he should be chief.

"I've been married for 26 years, three children with a 10-year-old daughter that I'm prepared to invest in a community for a long time. My other home is in the Carolinas. Nothing would make me prouder than to be able to go home a second time," said Holbrook.

As with any hiring process, things can change instantaneously. However, this is the latest information from insiders close to the Department. If named Chief of Police, Williams Holbrook will be the ninth person to hold that title in either a temporary, acting or permanent role in recent years. Meanwhile, Melron Kelly remains in place until the permanent chief is named this week.

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