Columbia hires new interim police chief

Newly appointed chief Randy Scott addressing the media Monday.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- New leadership is coming to the Columbia City Police Department.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Mayor Steve Benjamin, City Manager Steve Gantt and Interim Police Chief Carl Burke announced Richland County Chief Deputy Randy Scott will assume the job of interim police chief. There is no word on the status of hiring a permanent police chief..

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My hope is that this will be the beginning of a new era at the Columbia Police Department, where we will have a chief for quite a long time," Gantt explains.

Before serving the county for 15 years, Scott was in the U.S. Marine Corps. He studied criminal justice at Limestone College and Troy University. Scott is also very active in the community according to his biography. Click here to read his full bio.

"To the city of Columbia citizens, I pledge to listen to your concerns, I vow to provide you with solutions and I promise to be the community's chief," Scott explains. "I am the neighborhood cop that you can depend on." Read the entire statement here.

Scott will replace Interim Chief Burke, who announced Friday he'd be retiring October 15.

Burke took over in May after former Chief Tandy Carter was fired after facing scrutiny over his handling of the investigation of Mayor Steve Benjamin's car crash, as well as officers' handling of an October arrest in Five Points where surveillance video apparently contradicts the incident report filed by three officers.

Earlier last week, Columbia City Council voted against a proposal to put Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott in charge of city police, prompting the search for a permanent replacement.