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Then-incoming Columbia police chief Jill Schlude briefs reporters at city hall on November 15, 2023, as city manager De'Carlon Seewood and Mayor Barbara Buffaloe listen (file photo courtesy of Columbia spokeswoman Sydney Olsen)

(LISTEN): Columbia’s city manager emphasizes continuity at CPD with Schlude pick

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

Columbia’s city manager says CPD assistant chief Jill Schlude is the best choice to serve as chief.

City manager De’Carlon Seewood announced Schlude’s selection this week at city hall. He tells 939 the Eagle that continuity is important to him with CPD.

“And it’s one of those things where when you look out and see exactly what we need in order to continue the continuity that we have and make sure the department moves forward, Jill outshined. And so I’m excited about her taking on the role of chief, and I think she’ll do a great job for the city,” Seewood says.

Mr. Seewood says 18 candidates applied for the position, and that list was narrowed to eight semifinalists and four finalists. Mr. Seewood tells 939 the Eagle that Schlude shined during the interview process.

“I think each one of the candidates had something something, but I think when you looked at Jill’s capabilities, looked at her experience, looked at how she responded to some of the questions that was proposed. She had a lot that can make sure the department (CPD) is constantly moving forward,” says Seewood.

The 46-year-old Schlude began with the Columbia Police Department in 2005 and has been with the department for 18 years. She’ll be sworn-in at the December 4 city council meeting. One of her priorities is police officer recruitment and retention: Columbia Police are currently 38 officers short.

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