Brian James was sworn in as Greensboro police chief in a ceremony at the Carolina Theatre before over 500 people on Friday, Jan. 31.
James, in his remarks, talked quite a bit about growing up in Greensboro. He thanked a lot of people, including teachers by name at Bessemer Elementary, Irving Park Elementary, Aycock (now Swan) Middle School and Page High School. He also thanked his football coaches at Page – Marion Kirby and Frank Starling.
He said he played offensive line at Page and the coaches taught him, “How to play a key role without being in the spotlight.”
He said one of the greatest opportunities of his life was to attend NC A&T State University.
James said, “I am humbled and grateful to be the chief of police in the city where I grew up.”
James said that to be successful in his new position, “We all have to join together for the common good of the entire community.”
He said, “I constantly ask for your help, your input and your partnership.”
James joined the Greensboro Police Department in 1996, and along with a bachelor’s in business administration from A&T, has an MBA from Pfeiffer University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. James has been a deputy police chief since 2015.
In his remarks, City Manager David Parrish, who is also a native of Greensboro, said, “Brian James is a testament to what Greensboro, when we are united, can produce.”
He said that hiring a police chief was one of the most difficult decisions a city manager had to make and added, “Brian James earned this opportunity.”
Parrish said, “Brian embodies who we want as a servant leader.”
Former Police Chief Wayne Scott, who said he had worked with Brian a lot in the past 20 years, said, “Brian has an unusual skill set and a skill set that sets him apart.”
Scott also talked about the “quiet leadership” that James exhibited and said he was certain that James was ready to take over the job.
Scott also said he was looking forward to being able to put “former” before his own title.