Huntington Police Chief Holbrook Resigns

Updated 4 years ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
Mayor Williams
Mayor Williams

HUNTINGTON – Mayor Steve Williams received a letter of resignation from Police Chief Skip Holbrook on Thursday, March 20.

Holbrook’s resignation will take effect Monday, April 7. At that time, Jim Johnson will be appointed as interim police chief.

Johnson retired from the Huntington Police Department in 2001 after 29 years of service. He also was the Cabell County jail administrator from 2001 to 2004. He has served as the City of Huntington’s constituent services liaison in the Mayor’s Office for the past five years and will return to that position after a successor to Holbrook is chosen.

Williams has appointed an eight-person citizen committee to assist in the search for a new police chief.

The Mayor told a work session of City Council Thursday, "We know what the best is. We don't step back. Our search begins today."

Although Williams would not "confirm or deny" Holbrook's future plans, an introduction is scheduled at 9 a.m. Friday morning in Columbia, S.C., where the new chief there will be named. Holbrook visited that city and met with representatives and law enforcement representatives there last week. Reports have linked him as the only "candidate" still in the running for the South Carolina post.

Sandra Clements
Sandra Clements

Council chairman Mark Bates recalled that "when Chief Holbrook arrives in Huntington he found a challenging situation. I'm sure he's about to find that wherever he is headed. His leadership and work ethic has turned around the Huntington police department. He leaves the City of Huntington in a better place than when he found it. I commend him for that."

Huntington Council member, Sandra Clements, complemented Holbrook for the exhaustive turn-a-round of the Fairfield West area, which was an early target for crime reduction through the Weed and Seed initiative.

"He cleaned up a lot of the drug activity, made friends with the community, and we had an ear at the police department. He will be missed," Clements said.

At large council member Gary Bunn, a long time public servant in Cabell County and Huntington, called Holbrook "the best police chief we ever had."

Council vice chairman, Scott Caserta,  accented the positive, "we have over 100 police officers with his backbone. We still have them."

In his letter of resignation, Holbrook wrote, "it has been both an honor and a privilege to lead and work beside the brave men and women of the Huntington Police Department. Our officers represent all that is expected of them in service to the community --- Honor, Pride, Duty."

Acknowledging his appreciation for "friendship, professional guidance , and support," Holbrook told Williams "Huntington is destined to be a city of excellence."


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