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      Santiago: Police dept. has 'mixed feelings' about Scott's departure

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Police Chief Randy Scott abruptly left his position Tuesday on an indefinite leave of absence. While he is gone, former Deputy Chief Ruben Santiago is the acting chief of police -- for the second time this year. The first time was in January during Scott's 15-day retirement.

      "I was told that this needed to be done, and that's part of my duties is to fill in when the chief needs some time off," said Santiago.

      During his go at police chief, Santiago says he is focusing on the morale of his department, which he says has been tainted by Scott's departure.

      "Obviously there's some mixed feelings about it, and that's natural, I believe, to feel that way, especially considering that the chief asked for a personal leave of absence," said Santiago.

      Santiago just returned from the FBI National Academy and says he plans on implementing new ideas from the academy inside his police department.

      "Some of that stuff is like intelligence-led policing, some of the grant opportunities that we might be able to take care of, some of our partnerships with other agencies around here," said Santiago.

      Santiago, who is normally the deputy chief, says his term as chief of police will not be permanent, but that he has no idea when Randy Scott will return.