GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott announced his plans for retirement during a news conference Friday.
His retirement will be effective Jan. 31, 2020.
"I have spent the majority of my adult life as a Greensboro police officer, and that is what I am most proud of. Not being the chief, not ascending through the ranks but being a police officer,” Scott said.
Looking back on his time leading the department, Scott said he's proud of the community outreach and new technology his staff has been a part of.
"We’ve actually had discussions on a national level, we’ve traveled to the White House to have discussions related to some of the discussions on our outreach programming," he said. "And being the first major city in the country to do body cameras. We’ve just led the way in so many advancements and I’m so proud of the staff who’s done that."
Assistant City Manager Trey Davis said Friday that the city will hold public meetings as they start their search, and his staff is looking to hire a search firm within 30 days.
“I want to tell you that as we narrow this down, as we look at the profile of the next police chief we want to let you know that we’re confident that we will be able to select a dynamic and talented individual who will lead this agency and this city and serve you as a community,” Davis said.
Scott said he has been eligible for retirement since around the end of Jan. 2019 and it can be counter-productive to stay longer than the eligibility date for financial reasons.
"I really wanted to wait until the stability was there so that we can move forward...and find the right candidate to fill the seat in the future," Scott said.
Scott said Friday that his decision to retire is not related to the death of Marcus Smith. Smith died in police custody last September while his hands and feet were restrained. The medical examiner ruled that he died due to a combination of drugs in his system and heart disease, as well as the restraints.
“I have the utmost confidence that the public safety folks related to that incident acted with professionalism. They do as they do daily, which is trying to help a citizen,” he said.
One of the reasons Scott said he gave the long notice of six months was to provide an opportunity for a smooth transition.
"Quite honestly, it's time. I want to go spend some time with family and enjoy...the next stage of my life," Scott said.
He became the police chief in March 2015 and joined the Greensboro Police Department in 1991.