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Columbia police chief Jill Schlude began as chief on December 4, 2023 (2023 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia)

Columbia’s new police chief is sworn-in; recruitment remains a top priority

Columbia assistant police chief Jill Schlude will begin as chief on Monday December 4, 2023 (2023 photo courtesy of city of Columbia)

Columbia’s first female police chief has been sworn-in.

Jill Schlude, who had been serving as CPD’s assistant chief, was sworn-in during Monday night’s city council meeting. She’s been with the department since 2005. Her top priority is answering 911 calls, and she wants to see a recruitment and retention plan in place in the next 90 days.

Columbia Police are currently more than 40 officers short, according to CPD assistant chief Jeremiah Hunter.

18 candidates applied for the position, and city manager De’Carlon Seewood chose Schlude. Mr. Seewood tells 939 the Eagle that she shined during the interview process. Former Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones retired in August, after serving as chief since 2019. Matt Stephens served as the interim chief.

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