Deputy Police Chief Brian James, who will take over as police chief on Feb. 1, will appear at a community forum on Wednesday, Jan. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Peeler Recreation Center at 1300 Sykes Ave.

The community forum is being held by Greensboro Neighbors for Safety, Justice and Well-Being For All, and the public is invited.

This will be the community’s first opportunity to hear from James and find out what his plans are for the Police Department when he takes over in less than two weeks.

When Police Chief Wayne Scott announced in August that he would be retiring on Jan. 31, 2020, one question people were asking was whether the new chief would come from inside the Greensboro Police Department or from outside.

The answer is inside and it would be tough to out-Greensboro James. He grew up in East Greensboro, off Phillips Avenue, and graduated from Page High School. He then attended NC A&T State University and, after graduating, he joined the Greensboro Police Department. James also has an MBA from Pfeiffer University.

James worked his way up through the ranks was promoted to captain in 2009 and by Scott to deputy chief in 2015.

After Scott announced his retirement the city started the process of looking for a new chief, which begin with a series of community forums, at least one held in each of the five City Council districts, to get input on what the people of Greensboro wanted and expected in a new police chief.

The city hired a consulting firm to help with the process and, when the position was advertised, received 39 applications from all over the country. The original 39 was reduced to 15 for interviews and then that was reduced to six who went through a more lengthy interview and assessment process.

In December, Assistant City Manager Trey Davis, who led the effort for the city, said that they were down to two candidates, and on Jan. 14 it was announced that City Manager David Parrish had chosen James as Greensboro’s new police chief.

Judging from comments made at City Council meetings a lot of believe the City Council hires the police chief, but that isn’t the case. It is a decision made by the city manager.