GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott prepares for his upcoming retirement Jan. 31, he’s looking back at three decades in law enforcement.
Packing his office, Scott pulls out old photos and gear from his time in the academy.
“When we were all just young kids,” he laughs, pointing to a photo of his classmates.
Since Scott joined the department in 1991, he says the city and downtown area have seen major changes. With the construction of the Tanger Center well underway, along with new residential communities, he wishes he could have anticipated some of that growth.
“The police department has been proactive, we added a downtown commander to hone those services about a year and a half ago, I wish we had planned several years out and we could have had our resources in place even faster,” Scott said.
Following a year of increased gun violence in the city, Scott discussed efforts to get illegal guns off the street with programs like Gun Stoppers and partnerships with other agencies.
He said he expects the department to continue it’s involvement with NIBIN beyond his retirement, a national system helping track and identify shell casings, bullet fragments and guns themselves.
“Myself, the US attorney, the chief of Winston-Salem, we’re all on board for it but we also want to get Elon, Burlington, all the smaller jurisdictions because the more people that are doing the same thing with this gun data, the more detailed our data is the better we can make cases,” he said.
As his final day with the department nears, Scott says there’s a lot to be proud of in the last two years alone.
He pointed to the school resource officer who stopped a potential shooter at Smith High School in late 2018.
“The police department working with the school system, it all worked. And it’s so rare to get to say you planned for these kind of things, and when the plan comes together and it’s a successful outcome and nobody died that day, what an incredible thing for us to say,” Scott said.
Scott smiled as he recalled the moment 3-year-old Ahlora Lindiment was safely reunited with her family following a days-long search.
“To see our community come together, citizens come together, and saying, 'Hey can we walk with you? can we hand out flyers?' We averted a tragedy, and we as a community should be proud of that.”
Despite moments of tension between the community and the department, Scott says he’s proud that a dialogue continued with the public.
“We had communities in and around us, Charlotte going through civil unrest about actions of the government. And while we had tensions here, I think we did a good job of diffusing those,” he said.
Scott said Greensboro’s newest chief of police could be selected within the next two weeks.
Scott became the police chief in March 2015.