GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Greensboro Police Chief Brian James is reflecting before his retirement.
He admits he has mixed feelings about his departure but no regrets since the job takes a toll on you and your family.
He is ready to spend more time with his family as his youngest daughter gets ready to head off to college.
James reflected on his almost three decades with the department.
“It’s not real to me yet. I think when I come in here and actually clear out my office and leave for the last time, it’ll probably be somewhat of an emotional moment,” he said.
James had led the Greensboro Police Department as its 23rd police chief for the last two years.
He got his start as a police officer with the department in 1996. He showed our crews a picture of him and his mother when he first was sworn in. He was 26 years old.
A Greensboro native, James is a graduate of Page High School and got his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University,
“I was born and raised here, grew up here, and it proves that this community can grow its own leaders,” James said.
He says he’s most proud of his fight to recruit and retain officers and the outreach the department’s made in the community.
“One of the other challenges…is always relationships, and I think we made a lot of progress in building better relationships with the community. That work needs to continue,” he said.
He is credited with initiating the take car home program for officers, installing new license plate readers, and his department is in the process of getting a real-time crime center.
“‘I’m very proud that we were able to push those things forward, and I hope that the next person will serve will certainly support that mission,” he said.
He has this message for people who say he’s leaving too soon:
“I think you have to take into account a person’s individual obligations. That first and foremost being family. If they say I’m leaving too soon, I’ll take that as a compliment but also keep in mind I served the city of Greensboro as a police officer for over 26 years.”
Now he is looking on to the next phase of his life.
He shared with FOX8 what he plans to do in retirement.
“Probably get on my motorcycle and ride it. I got a motorcycle I rarely get a chance to ride, and I’ve been riding for over twenty-something years…since I’ve been chief, I’ve barely had a chance to ride it. It’s something I really enjoy doing,” he said. “I really would like to have some time to relax. Maybe take a vacation and recharge and figure out what’s next.”
James’ last day on the job is May 31.