The announcement on Friday, Aug. 9 by Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott that he would be retiring on Jan. 31, 2020 may have caught some people off guard, but it was no surprise to the City Council.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said Scott had informed the City Council and City Manager David Parrish of his plans several weeks ago, but that even that was no surprise because the council was aware of Scott’s schedule.
She said, “The chief gave David a couple of weeks heads up so that he had time to consider how he might go about the hiring process.”
Under the city manager form of government in Greensboro, every city employee except the city attorney works for the city manager, which makes Parrish responsible for hiring the new chief. The City Council will no doubt give input, but the final decision is left up to Parrish.
Vaughan said she understood an executive search firm would be hired and there would be a nationwide search for a new chief. She also said she expected there to be a lot of opportunity for public input before a decision is made.
Vaughan said, “The chief has certainly been with the city a long time and seen the department through tremendous growth. I think he’s done a good job and I wish him well.”
Vaughan added, “I think being police chief has got to be the hardest position in the city.”
City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “I certainly want to thank him for all the years of service to the city. He brought about a number of new initiatives. like the safer city summit and the community engagement office, which have really made a difference.”
Abuzuaiter said, “One important thing to point out is that when Scott took over we were struggling to find recruits. Now, with his leadership, we are pretty much fully staffed.”
Abuzuaiter also noted that by making the announcement now, the city manager should have time to hire a new chief, so the department won’t have to go through the uncertainty of having an interim chief for any length of time.