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Columbia Police Celebrate Promotions; Honor Man Who Saved Officer’s Life

The Columbia Police Department on Thursday celebrated the largest group of promoted officers in Chief Skip Holbrook’s time in office, and took time to thank a man who helped make sure one of their own wasn’t lost.

56 men and women received their honors, took the oath of office administered by Judge Dana Turner, and participated in a badge pinning ceremony.

“These promotees represent some of the very best we have to offer — our newest leaders,” Holbrook said. “This is a defining moment for the Columbia Police Department. It’s about moving our agency from good to great. These new leaders will be instrumental in shaping the future of the CPD and blazing a trail for the officers that follow them.”

CPD contracted with the College of Charleston’s Joseph P. Riley Jr., Center of Livable Communities to develop a new process for promotions, including written subject matter tests and oral review boards/assessment panels. The panel working on the new process spoke to CPD commanders about the traditions, beliefs and expectations at the department.

The promotees attended an orientation workshop, completed tests and answered the panel’s questions. In all, 142 officers began the process. At the conclusion, final scores were tabulated and a list of eligible candidates for each rank was established based on highest to lowest test scores.

“This is an accomplishment you should be extremely proud of,” Holbrook told the newly promoted officers. “You earned it. But let’s be clear, your work is just beginning.”

David Brown (blue shirt) received a hug from Officer Conklin and a special award from Chief Holbrook on behalf of CPD (photo by Allen Wallace).

David Brown (blue shirt) received a hug from Officer Conklin and a special award from Chief Holbrook on behalf of CPD (photo by Allen Wallace).

Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins and representatives from the South Carolina State Guard and South Carolina Highway Patrol were on hand to congratulate the officers.

The ceremony also included the presentation of a special award to David Brown. Brown, a paramedic, was off duty May 24 when he became stuck in traffic after Officer Peter Conklin was hit by a car and critically injured while working a wreck on I-126.

“You see how God works,” Deputy Chief Melron Kelly said of Brown’s presence moments after Conklin was hurt. Brown saw that someone was injured and rushed to Conklin’s side, administering first aid including applying a tourniquet which helped keep Conklin alive. Conklin was on hand for the promotion ceremony, and he and Brown both received standing ovations from the crowd of officers, family and friends.

Pictured: the newly promoted officers (photo by Allen Wallace)

Full list of promoted officers

Benjamin Arrowood
William Beattie
Spencer Borthen
Allen Brinson
Carl Brown
Scott Desrochers
Kyle Gilbert
Mark Juergens
Ronald Manning
John Myers
Joseph Richburg
William Scott
Anthony Viehweg
Daniel Weiler

Anthony Branham
Richard Cullop
Allison Fitzgerald
Nicholas Fortner
Tyson Hass
Ryan McIntyre
Amy Mostella
David Rodgers
George Simpson
Robert Welch
Keith Williamson

Timothy Baire
Colin Bailey
Jeffrey Brink
Matthew Buck
Ryan Johnson
Jennifer Jordan
Brad Markevicz
Jacqueline McCoy
Erskine Moody
Valeria Moorer
Christopher Morris
Lance Reeves
Nicholas Scott
Jackson Sheard
Mary Sumter
Robert Uhall
Cynthia Waggoner
Larry Walker
Stacey Walker
Michael Walsh

Brian Bell
Robert Calby
Martin Folding
Derek Miller
William Pegram
Arthur Rease
Daniel Wesley
Richard White
Christopher B. Williams

Glenn Gates
Chris White

The promotees will begin their new assignments in August.

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