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Published on December 4th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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2018 Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement

City Council recognized Police Chief William “Skip” Holbrook for receiving the 2018 Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement.

Chief Holbrook was given the honor at the Fort Jackson Officers’ Club at Fort Jackson on October 26, 2018.

The Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement was established by Senator Strom Thurmond in 1983 to recognize law enforcement officers whose performances demonstrate the highest ideals of excellence in professional law enforcement.

An annual award is given in each of four categories: (1) City; (2) County; (3) State; and (4) Federal.

Chief Holbrook was nominated by his peers and colleagues for his leadership, integrity and achievements at CPD.

As Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson noted, “Chief Holbrook’s commitment to the community is extraordinary and has made a tremendous impact in improving the communications between our police force and the community. Chief is the standard bearer of honor and civility.”

Since Chief was sworn in as Columbia Police Chief on April 11, 2014, he has implemented several organizational and operational reforms which have been recognized by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) for 21st Century Policing efforts, to including:

• Advancing 21st Century Policing Project – CPD was one of fifteen law enforcement agencies in the country to serve as a positive example of effective ways to produce a “how to” manual for other police agencies that will include best practices, lessons learned and case studies of the participating agencies.
• CALEA Accreditation –CPD received its Advanced Accreditation for Law Enforcement confirming that our policies and procedures meet national standards.
• Front Porch Roll Calls – when police squads host pre-shift roll calls in communities.
• Public Command Staff Meeting – a question and answer structured meetings to provide citizens with a front row seat to the inner workings of the CPD and discuss crime trends and crime prevention.
• Ice Cream Truck – provides free ice cream in neighborhoods to enhance the relationship between officers and citizens.
• Citizen Advisory Council – comprised of ten (10) members of the community who work to review CPD policies and procedures to strengthen relationships and build trust within the community.
• The SCLEOA SCANA Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement – The award recognizes the efforts, innovative service to the community, efficiency and results of CPD during the past year.
• Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) for CPD Officers – requiring officers to wear BWCs while on duty and during calls for service response to provide transparency, accountability and honesty of officers.
• Beyond the Badge Program – when newly hired officers spend their first week on duty working with community service organizations to assist citizens.
• Tactical First Aid Kits – issued to all uniformed officers to assist injured officers or citizens during calls for service.

Major Frank O’Neal with the SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED) also nominated Chief for the award and says, “Chief leads from the front as is evident from his presence at any major event in the Columbia area. He is always looking to work with other agencies for the common good, while not worrying about who gets credit when there is success. His ability and work ethic are standards that all officers should try to parallel.”

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