Greensboro’s appointment of new police chief comes with some opposition

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The City of Greensboro's appointment of a new police chief is not without some opposition.

The city hosted an event Thursday to explain the chief selection process and give Wayne Scott a chance to outline his goals for Greensboro.

Protestors chanted just before the press conference began, saying "Wayne Scott, Bad Choice."

Scott has worked with GPD for 24 years, most recently serving as deputy chief since 2012.

Leaders with the Beloved Community Center oppose his appointment, saying it's not enough change for Greensboro.

An email from the Center stated Scott is "part of the old guard that is responsible for the lack of trust that exist [sic] between the community and the GPD."

The group was planning to host a rally at 5:30 Thursday at Goverment Plaza downtown. Chief Scott said he planned to reach out to those who oppose him.

"Not everyone in this room agrees upon a lot of things, and obviously my appointment is one of those things. But as I said, in order for us to move forward as a city, community, and police department we have to be willing and able to build those bridges. And bridges are typically built from both sides."

In his speech, Scott said he hoped to create a faith-based advisory council, including people of different religious backgrounds from the city. He also wants to be more involved with the city's middle and high school youth.

"We do a good job there,” he said. “We have SRO’s in the schools. We have programs. But I believe there’s room for improvement."

Scott said it's also time to redraw geographic lines with the intention of improving police response times. That should take 3-4 months, he said. "I’m going to use that time to begin new community forums. I’m going to be out in our community in each one of our districts multiple times connecting with the citizens that live in those areas. And I want to hear your perspective.”

The new chief said he hoped a new set of eyes would lead to new strategies for connecting with all communities in Greensboro.

Scott said he did pause when first thinking about taking on the highest leadership position in the Department, considering police across the country are under fire.

"I believe I am the best qualified person for this job, and I believe we have brighter days ahead and want to be part of how we get there,” he said.

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