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City: Outgoing police chief not qualified to carry gun

Oct 4, 2010 7:10:00 PM - thestate.com
The man commanding the city’s police department for the past four months is not qualified to carry a gun, and he will not be allowed to carry his weapon, wear his Columbia police uniform or drive a police car during his last two weeks on the job.

As a result, the first order of business for the city’s new interim police chief Randy Scott will be a review of all training records for the city’s police force, said Mike King, assistant city manager for public safety.

Scott will be sworn in as interim chief at 11 a.m. today at Columbia Municiple Court. He replaces Columbia Police Col. Carl Burke, who was appointed interim chief in May.

Burke had not taken a certification test with his service weapon since November 2007, King said. The police department requires all officers to take the test annually to demostrate safety standards and marksmanship.

That means Burke was not qualified to lead the department. However, his failure to follow the department’s weapons policy had nothing to do with his decision to retire on Oct. 15, King said. Burke will stay on at the police department for the next two weeks to help Scott assimilate, King said.