A push for consolidating Columbia's Police Department with the Richland County Sheriff's Office has been called off.

In a special City Council meeting Wednesday night, Councilman Cameron Runyan dropped his quest to have Sheriff Leon Lott oversee the police force.

Runyan apologized for stirring things up just as City Manager Teresa Wilson is getting ready to announce the finalist in the search for a new police chief. 

The sudden turn of events comes after Mayor Steve Benjamin urged Council members to treat each other with more civility – and, after it became apparent that the mayor was the only other Council member open to the idea of consolidated law enforcement.

So, Council voted unanimously to proceed with the police chief search.

The City Manager is expected to have a name next week, but there's one less finalist to choose from.

Retired Spartanburg Public Safety Director Tony Fisher says he's changed his mind about seeking the job after the ruckus this week over merging law enforcement agencies.

Fisher says he was concerned about a lack of consensus on what should be done.