Columbia police chief not certified to carry gun

Interim Police Chief Randy Scott
Interim Police Chief Randy Scott
Outgoing Interim Police Chief Carl Burke
Outgoing Interim Police Chief Carl Burke

By Jody Barr - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Newly-appointed interim Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott's first task is to investigate his predecessor, outgoing interim Chief Carl Burke, according to Public Safety Director Mike King.

According to the city, the man who just stepped down as Columbia's top cop hasn't been a certified law enforcer for the past three years.  That means, the city should have stripped Col. Carl Burke of his gun, his badge, uniform and police car 36 months ago.

When Burke shows up to work on Tuesday morning, he'll be in plain clothes without his gun, and prohibited from wearing his badge. Burke will also have to drive his personal car.

The move is the latest twist in an odd story which began on Friday, when WIS News 10 uncovered a secret plan to replace Burke now that Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott will not be given control of the police department.

The timing of Burke's retirement and the subsequent revelation of Burke's three-year violation of the department's annual re-certification policy brings up the obvious question of whether city officials knew of Burke's violation when they moved to replace him with Scott.

However, King says he found out about the violation four hours after Burke handed over the reins of the police department to Scott.

Director King says the point of Chief Scott's investigation is to find out how this happened, if this is an isolated case, and to find a way for this to never happen again.

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